Finders Keepers: Yotam Ottolenghi's beans and curry leaf salad
Okay, let's say this salad was riding on the wings of a good friend's very successful paella today, which, when made generous by our full tummies, rendered this salad quite special.
Give me anything with the flavour of citrusy curry leaf and I'm likely to put it on a favourite list anyway.
It helps to have a bountiful curry leaf tree at my door, but our markets all seem to have them now in the fresh herbs section, which is definitely a big bonus.
The salad is hearty and lightly cooked, which means that apart from accompanying superior paellas, it can easily act as a stand alone meal with some added soft boiled eggs, thickly flaked smoked trout, or some left over roast chicken. Mr. Ottolenghi, while this part of India is not known for eating lots of salads, you've used some South Indian standard ingredients ingeniously to create a salad I reckon even my Kerala grandmas Ida and Sophie would have loved.
220g haricots verts, trimmed
200g shelled frozen edamame
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon to finish
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
30 fresh curry leaves
3 whole dried chillis
shaved rind of 1 lime
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup thickly shredded coconut
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the broccolini and haricots verts and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the pan, run the veggies under cold water, pat dry and transfer to a salad bowl.
Return pan of water to the boil, add the edamame, and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, run under cold water, and pat dry.
Add the edamame to the salad bowl with other veggies, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss.
Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan.
Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook until soft.
Add the mustard seeds, and when they start to pop, add the curry leaves, chilli and lime rind.
Fry for 2 minutes and pour this over the veggies. Stir and set aside.
Just before serving, add the lime juice, the cilantro and coconut.
Toss gently, and serve.
I added a handful of baby spinach leaves to the salad.
Instead of the lime juice, I added some of my Via Carota dressing which I had in the fridge to the final toss.
Image: Jonathan Lovekin, Plenty More