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French Bean Salad

French Bean Summer Salad

Nettle & mint yoghurt dressing 

A summery salad combining garden herbs, a German inspired salad dressing and delicious French beans. A great salad for summer barbeques, lunches or simply as a starter. Just remember to use rubber gloves whilst handling the nettles, but if you do get a sting, then dab the area with sticky tape to remove the sting, squeeze on some lemon juice.

download French Bean Salad pdf

Ingredients:

7 nettle-top sprigs, the top three bracts

350g French beans, topped and tailed

Sea salt to season

60g fresh summer spearmint leaves, roughly chopped

3 lemons, freshly squeezed juice

2 tbsp grape seed oil

1 tsp white peppercorns, freshly ground

1 tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground

150g yoghurt, full fat, strained (Greek yoghurt is good and you can use low fat if you’d prefer)

1 tblsp almonds, lightly toasted, roughly chopped

A splash of fruity virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Firstly, pluck the nettle tops gingerly from countryside hedgerows, or your garden borders, rinse to clean, pop them into gently boiling water to blanch for about 3 minutes then plunge into ice–cold water. When cool, about 5 minutes, strain, squeeze dry, roughly chop and set aside.
  2. Using the same pot of water, add about 3 tsp of salt, pop in the beans and cook until they’re soft, but still hold a little shape, remove from the pot, then plunge into ice–cold water, set aside and leave to cool
  3. Pop the nettles, mint, lemon juice, oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper and cumin into a food processor and blitz to a paste
  4. In a small bowl, add the paste, the yoghurt and stir together, check and rectify seasoning.
  5. Remove the beans from the water, pat dry and lay them on a serving platter, spoon over the dressing, scatter the nuts, splash over a little olive oil and serve.
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