Three bean is a summer salad staple, but if you’re like me, three bean is one bean too many.  Kidney, you’re welcome in my chili, but I do not dig your chalky bite of paste in my cold salads.  Yotam Ottolenghi  improves three bean salad’s taste and visual appeal with toss in of barely roasted red peppers. Sexy.

Now, a seemingly boring bean salad gets a Middle Eastern spice and herb kick, making go-time for this tribute to traffic lights.

pick up sticks

Sometimes a market find, in this case yellow beans, leads to a recipe.  For fresh produce inspired salads, I head to YO’s cookbooks where produce is not nutritional duty, bur rather as opportunity to crave vegetables.

mixed bean salad

Toasted seeds, tarragon and capers provide a unique flavor combination to an otherwise simple vegetable melange, yet, precision is not required. Taste as you combine flavors.  Use suggested herb replacements if you can’t find or don’t have those listed.  Although the chef’s intention is best realized by following the recipe, omitting any flavor ingredient below will not ruin this fresh produce salad, but rather give it a different personality.

preptime:  25                                       6 servings

  • 3 cups yellow beans, trimmed (if unavailable, double the quantity of French beans)
  • 3 cups French beans, trimmed
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 1/4″ strips
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp for the peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp tarragon, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chervil leaves (or a mixture of dill & shredded parsley)
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and add the yellow beans. After two minutes, add the french beans and cook for four minutes more. Refresh under cold water, drain, pat dry and place in a large bowl.
  3. Toss the pepper strips in a teaspoon of oil, spread on an oven tray and roast for five minutes, until tender. Remove and add to the beans.
  4. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the capers (be careful, as they’ll spit) and garlic, fry for 20 seconds, then add the seeds and fry for another 20 seconds. The garlic should by now have turned golden. Remove from the heat and immediately pour over the beans.
  5. Add the spring onion, herbs, lemon zest, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some black pepper, and toss to combine.

recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and provided by your friends at crucnhtimefood.com

 

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