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Tahini-Dressed Zucchini and Green Bean Salad
Tahini-Dressed Zucchini and Green Bean Salad Photo courtesy of Simon Wheeler

The dog days of summer practically beg for fresh veggies. And yet, as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall so aptly puts it in his new vegetable cookbook, River Cottage Veg, salad shouldn’t be a euphemism for a side of limp lettuce. The well-known British chef prefers big, gutsy concoctions, like this zucchini and green bean number. Serve it as a main course and leave the table thoroughly satisfied.

Makes 4 servings (plus about 1/2 cup dressing)

Tahini Dressing

½ garlic clove

Coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons light tahini

Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon

Freshly squeezed juice of ½ orange

½ teaspoon honey

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Zucchini and Green Bean Salad

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium zucchini (about ¾ pound), sliced into ⅛-inch coins

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped

Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon

¼ pound green beans, trimmed

4 large handfuls mixed salad greens

Mint leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Make the tahini dressing: Crush the garlic with a little sea salt and transfer to a medium bowl or glass measuring cup. Add the tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, honey and a grind of black pepper to the bowl and stir until combined. (If the dressing thickens or turns grainy or pasty, thin it out by whisking in a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get a creamy, trickling consistency.) Gently stir in the olive oil. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed and set aside.

2. Make the salad: In a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, cook the zucchini coins, tossing them occasionally, until tender and browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked zucchini to a large bowl.

3. When all the zucchini is cooked, season it generously with salt and pepper. Add the chile and lemon juice and toss until combined. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan filled with salted water to a boil and prepare an ice-water bath. Add the green beans to the saucepan, return the water to a boil and blanch for 1 minute. Drain the green beans, then dunk them in the ice-water bath to refresh them. Drain again, pat dry with a clean kitchen towel and toss the beans with the zucchini.

5. Spread the salad greens in a large, shallow serving bowl, then scatter the dressed zucchini and beans and shredded mint on top. Drizzle the tahini dressing generously over the whole lot and serve immediately.

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