The Perfect Summer Salad

Thursday, August 23

Following my absolute delight yesterday at my biopsies being clear and me being 100% Cancer free, I was inspired to cook a nutritious but tasty meal for our friends that came for dinner last night.

My friend Bindy gave me the Ottolenghi Cookbook for my Birthday last week, and in this I found this great French Bean, Mangetout, Hazelnut and Orange Salad.  I served it together with this Yoghurt and Spices Chicken Bake, and wild rice, and the meal was pretty delicious if I do say so myself....

(my amateur photography skills really don't do this dish justice)

French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnut and Orange
(Serves 6)

400g French beans
400g Mangetout
70g unskinned Hazelnuts
1 Orange
20g Chives, roughly chopped
1 Garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Hazelnut oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180'c/Gas Mark 4.
Trim the ends off of the beans and mangetout

Bring a large pot of unsalted water to the boil in a saucepan-you need lots of space for the beans as this is how they maintain their colour.
Blanch the french beans in the water for 4 minutes, then place in a colander and run cold water over immediately to stop them cooking.

Whilst the beans are being being blanched, place the hazelnuts on a baking tray, and place them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Then blanch the mangetout for 1 minute and also run under cold water.

Remove the hazelnuts from the oven after 10 minutes and rub them in a tea towel to get rid of most of the skins.

(this step was certainly a first for me!)

Remove the zest from the orange with a peeler, trying to avoid the bitter white plith, and slice each piece into thin strips.

(I clearly didn't avoid all the plith)

Chop the nuts, with a large sharp knife, some of them can remain whole.

Make the dressing with the remaining ingredients.

I couldn't find any hazelnut oil and so I squeezed the orange juice into the dressing and it was brilliant!

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

And Enjoy

I will certainly be making this recipe again...soon.

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