We have a strange green bean growing – its pod is green with flecks of red. It is delicious, as all green beans are, and perfect for this salad from Ottolenghi. You can of course use any green bean – the beans are paired with either edamame, younger broad beans or even peas. The key to the salad is a beautiful dressing made with lime zest, lime juice, coriander, mint, garlic and chillies! Oh, yes, you just might get excited.
Once the beans are trimmed, it is quite simple to make. Of course it is, it is from Ottolenghi’s book Simple. 10 ingredients, quick and it can be made ahead (see the notes below the salad). Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Similar dishes include Summery Grain or Lentil Salad, Sea Spaghetti, Cucumber and Edamame Salad, Italian Green Bean Salad, Green Bean Salad with Asparagus, Spring Salad, and Glorious Green Bean Salad.
Two Bean and Two Lime Salad
6 large makrut (kaffir) lime leaves (fresh or frozen), spines removed
2 limes, grate the zest to get 1.5 tspn, then juice to get 2 Tblspn
30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
10g mint leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
60ml olive oil
2 green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
600g green beans, trimmed
150g frozen or fresh, shelled edamame, young blanched and peeled broad beans or shelled peas
1 tspn black sesame seeds
sea salt to taste
Roll the lime leaves into a thick cigar shape and slice thinly and chop the strips. Put them into the small bowl of a food processor and add the lime zest, 2/3 of the coriander, the mint, garlic, oil, chillies and 0.5 tspn salt. Blitz to a smooth paste. Set aside.
Bring a medium pan of salted water to a boil and add the green beans. Blanch for 3 minutes, then add the edamame, broad beans or peas. Drain, refresh under cold water, drain again and set aside to dry.
Spoon the lime paste over the beans, pour over the lime juice, and stir to coat. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and the remaining coriander, and serve at once.
recipe notes and alternatives
In another version of this recipe, Ottolenghi adds 0.5 tsp ground Iranian lime to the paste, reducing the lime leaves to 4. This gives added variety to the lime flavours in the dish.
I like to add Purslane to the salad when it is available. The lemony taste pairs well with the other ingredients. You can see it in the pic if you look closely.
You can make this ahead of time, but hold back on the lime juice until just before you serve. It will keep for up to 6 hours in the fridge.
If you can’t get fresh or frozen lime leaves, use the inner soft part of a lemongrass stalk, or omit altogether. It will still be a zingy salad.
Got some lime leaves left over? Blitz them and stir into Greek yoghurt with grated zucchini, chopped mint and crushed garlic.