Three bean salad (Serves 4 or more as a side dish)
This salad features three different beans: green, runner and broad. Feel free to use a different bean, or to vary the amounts of each if you prefer one bean more than another. Frankly, I love them all! For the vinaigrette, I like the sweet-sour tones of white balsamic vinegar but you could substitute white wine vinegar instead.
240g green beans
240g runner beans
450g broad beans in the pod
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp olive oil
20g dill, chopped
Salt & pepper
Rinse the green beans and runner beans. Top the green beans, snapping off a bit at the stem end. Leave the curly tail intact. Place the green beans in boiling salted water and blanch until just done – about 2-3 minutes. While the green beans are cooking, slice the runner beans into pieces about 4cm each.
When the green beans are done, scoop them out of the water and quickly refresh under very cold water. Next, drop the runner beans into the boiling water and cook until done. Again, this will take only a few minutes.
While the runner beans are cooking, remove the broad beans from their pod. When the runner beans are done, refresh them under cold water as you did for the green beans. Last but not least, place the broad beans in the boiling water. Cooking time will vary depending on how large your broad beans are – the best way to know is to check one after a minute or so. They should remain firm (not mushy) but not tough.
When done, you can strain them and run cold water over them. Once they’re cool enough to handle, remove the pale outer skin. Some people leave the casing on smaller beans but I think it looks and tastes better without.
Wrap all the beans in a few sheets of kitchen roll or a clean kitchen towel to remove any water. Set them aside.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard and balsamic vinegar.
Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk to create a smooth vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
Place all the beans on a large platter. Sprinkle with some of the dill and drizzle on the vinaigrette. You want to coat the vegetables, not drown them so add a bit at a time. You may have some vinaigrette leftover. Toss and garnish with the remaining dill.