Using ingredients at peak ripeness and freshness, together with handfuls of fresh herbs, elevates this simple salad to epic!
Feel free to add some roasted eggplant - roast small cubes of lightly oiled and seasoned eggplant, in the oven, until completely meltingly tender - or sliced protein of your choice (rare roast beef, smoked or roast chicken, etc) to make this the perfect complete summer salad meal. Serves 4
Large handful mint leaves
Large handful coriander leaves
Large handful basil leaves
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime or 2 small limes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey, or extra if needed
350g green beans, trimmed, blanched or steamed
250g chip mixed cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
4 handfuls small salad leaves; rocket is really good here
1 shallot, very finely sliced
1 large handful Pinoli pine nuts, toasted
A few semi-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
To make the dressing;
Reserve a few of the herb leaves to add to the salad.
Make sure your remaining herbs have been well-dried after washing. Pile into a food processor (or you could chop the herbs on a board with a large sharp knife or mezzaluna) with the remaining ingredients and process until everything is well chopped and the dressing is emulsified. Taste for seasoning, adding salt if needed.
To make the Salad;
Put the cooled beans in a large bowl with the cherry tomatoes, salad leaves, shallot slices and the pine nuts. Drizzle over enough dressing to moisten then gently toss so all the ingredients are coated in the dressing.
Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and top with the semi-dried tomatoes and reserved herb leaves. Serve immediately.
The salad can be made in advance without the dressing and stored, covered, in the fridge until needed. Dress just before serving.