This simple salad is from my new BFF Yotam and it’s perfect for spring. We’re growing green beans and spinach (just harvested our first batch!) so it’s really perfect for us. All you do is blanch vegetables, make a dressing, and you’re done. I staggered my vegetables using a big pot so I wouldn’t have to keep pulling them out before adding new ones, and that worked just fine (I will always look out for you when it comes to doing less work. ;-))
You know that I like a more acidic dressing, so I did bring the lemon juice up a bit. Unfortunately my store didn’t carry nigella seeds, and I didn’t really feel like going on a hunt for them. This is the second recipe I’ve wanted to use them in, so I plan to just buy some online to make sure I have them on hand for the next time. This time around, I just omitted them.
In my son’s ever-changing list of “favorite vegetables” you can now put broad beans/fava at the top of the list – until next week when something replaces it, I’m sure.
Adapted from Ottolenghi
12 oz. asparagus, tough ends removed and sliced on a sharp angle into 2″ spears
1/2 lb. french or green beans, trimmed
12 oz. broad beans*
2.5 oz. baby spinach
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 red chile, finely minced
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp. nigella seeds
salt to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready.
Add the french beans and boil for 1 minute before adding the asparagus. Boil for another minute before adding the broad beans. After the broad beans have been cooking for 2 minutes, drain all the vegetables and then plunge them into the ice water. Remove and discard the broad bean skins by gently pressing each between your finger and thumb. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl.
Whisk together the sesame oil, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to taste. Toss the dressing with the vegetables and sesame and nigella seeds. Re-season if necessary.
*Note: You can purchase frozen broad beans or fava. If you are using fava beans, you only need about half the amount, since the weight listed includes skins.