Friday, April 12, 2013

Ottolenghi's Spring Salad: A Whole Bowl Full of Green Goodness

Nothing says spring like a big bowl of green--leafy and otherwise. This Spring Salad by Yotam Ottolenghi puts all things green--spinach, asparagus, beans together in a light, sesame-enhanced oil and lemon juice dressing. A great reason to pull out the big wooden salad bowl.

Ottolenghi says, "I love dishes that feature the various shades of a single colour, making you stop to check what's in there. Spring and early summer are the time to do this with green, as now we have artichoke, rocket, asparagus, broad beans, watercress, samphire, peas, cabbage, all kinds of lettuce, runner beans, broccoli, spring onion, chard, spinach and many, many more to choose from. When you put a few of these in one bowl, you get the most glorious celebration of colour and spring."

I made a couple of swap-outs/changes to the recipes--in red below. 

Spring Salad
Yotam Ottolenghi via The Guardian (link here)
(Serves 4-6)

300 g asparagus, trimmed and sliced on a sharp angle into 3-4 thin spears
200 g french beans, topped
300 g broad beans (fresh or frozen) (I used frozen green garbanzo beans)
50 g baby spinach leaves (I used 1/2 baby spinach, 1/2 baby arugula)
1 shallot, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 red chilli, finely diced 

1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp nigella seeds 


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the asparagus for two to four minutes, depending on thickness – you don't want them cooked to very soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Add the french beans to the boiling water, blanch for five minutes and transfer to the asparagus bowl. Drain both well, then dry with a clean kitchen towel. Blanch the broad beans in the same water for two minutes, drain, refresh and dry, then remove and discard the skins by pressing each bean gently between finger and thumb.

Put all the greens in a large bowl and add all the remaining ingredients and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir gently, taste, add more salt if you like, and serve at once.

Notes/Results: Great color and flavors in this one. Ottolenghi knows how to rock the green. To be honest, other than the dressing, I weighed nothing and just added a bunch of asparagus and a small bag of haricot verts from the farmers market. To change it up a bit I mixed the baby spinach with baby arugula. Not having access to good fresh or frozen broad beans, I tossed in a package of Whole Food 365 Brand frozen green garbanzos, lightly blanched. This salad does take a bit of prep with the chopping and blanching but goes together pretty easily and looks nice in the bowl. 

I used it as a base for some simple seared ahi (lightly coated with sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt and pepper) and it was a delicious dinner. I also enjoyed it on its own and with a runny egg and some local goat cheese. A good one for a welcome spring supper--I would make this again. 

This is my entry for this week's Loving the Leaf! theme at IHCC. Check out the leafy Ottolenghi recipes everyone made by going to the post and following the links.

Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. I wonder if my Whole Foods has the frozen green garbanzos! I'll have to keep an eye out. This salad sounds so full of fresh flavor and awesomeness!

  2. Love the bean substitutions that are coming through in this (and another green salad) today! I don't know if I could find green garbanzo beans here in my rural backwater, but edamame would do the trick! This is truly a great salad!

  3. Lovely plate of salad, love the fresh green colour! Having it with runny eggs sounds so good! I am liking all the salad recipes I'm seeing at IHCC!

  4. That's a bowl full of good health! So vibrant!

  5. OH! Just when I was set on making this salad I saw the last picture with the seared Ahi and fell madly in love! Love the dressing. Never heard of Nigella seeds though, interesting.

  6. I just made this one yesterday myself. It was delicious and your photos are beautiful! I didn't think to add Tuna. Thanks for the idea!

  7. I love the looks of this, it must've tasted fabulous!

  8. Couscous & ConsciousnessApril 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Deb, you've totally done this salad proud - it looks gorgeous. Love your subs - especially the green garbanzo beans. I saw them for the first time at my supermarket yesterday and am really keen to try them. You've got me thinking now that with just a couple of substitutions I could turn this into an autumn salad :-)

  9. A very good reason to get out the wooden salad bowl :) This salad is so vibrant. I'm really interested in the frozen green garbanzo beans. I have never seen them but will seek them out the next time I go to Whole Foods. I think this salad would be perfect with fish, but I also love the idea of the runny egg with a sprinkling of cheese. Absolutely gorgeous!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)