March 21, 2012
Green bean salad with mustard seeds
Page 196, Ottolenghi
Ottolenghi is magic with simple ingredients. This was such an easy dish — blanched green beans, snow peas, green peas, and some herbs and aromatics was about the sum total. But what amazing flavors! The mustard seeds and coriander were popped in oil which then made up the dressing for the beans and peas. It was simple and had such depth of flavor – a bit of a nod to Indian spicing, but with a lemon zest and garlic twist. A perfect spring salad to eat out of our new Le Creuset pottery dish (LOVE!) while watching an old season of Amazing Race (also strangely LOVE!).
1 1/4 cups green beans, trimmed
2 1/4 cups snow peas, trimmed
1 3/4 cups green peas (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed with a mortar and pestle
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 mild fresh red chile, seeded and finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped tarragon ( I skipped the tarragon since we didn’t have it on hand)
coarse sea salt
1 cup baby chard leaves (optional)
Fill a medium saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil. Blanch the green beans for 4 minutes, then immediately lift them out of the pan and into iced water to refresh. Drain and dry.
Bring a fresh pan of water to a boil and blanch the snow peas for 1 minute only. Refresh, drain and dry. Use the same boiling water to blanch the peas for 20 seconds. Refresh, drain and dry. Combine the beans, snow peas and peas in a large mixing bowl.
Put the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and oil in a small saucepan and heat up. When the seeds begin to pop, pour the contents of the pan over the beans and peas. Toss together, then add the nigella seeds, red onion, chile, garlic, lemon zest and tarragon. Mix well and season with salt to taste.
Just before serving, gently fold the chard leaves, if using, in with the beans and peas, and spoon the salad onto plates or into bowls.