Summer has arrived in New York having touched down only briefly on spring and the months of rushing into air conditioned buildings has commenced. The pollen count has been most egregious this year and the complaints of scratchy throats and runny noses have become the new weather chat in the work pantry.
“I’ve been on Claritin for two weeks straight now and I still feel like s***”
“You should see my daughter- her eyes have been swollen shut for three days.”
And so on.
And although, I too have been closely linked to partaking in a bit of office whinging I’m feeling rather chuffed that summer is here (and even more grateful for subway air conditioning). Unaccustomed to such lengthy periods of warmth and now arguably suburbanites, having moved out to Brooklyn, Don and I felt somewhat like we were on holiday last Friday night- strolling around Cobble Hill, sharing an ice cream and poking our noses into the boutique shops. Of course, coming back to our semi-demolished apartment, and a recent delivery of 104 IKEA boxes, a thirty inch cooker, a dishwasher and two inches of dust we were quickly reminded that we most certainly were not on holiday and living in a dump site is a sure fire way to start a good argument. So, bring on the warm summer evenings and meandering walks along the river because coming home isn’t so much fun these days.
Arguments and dust aside, I have been trying my best to convince myself that eating off of paper and out of a microwave does not mean that you have to eat rubbish. This salad came about in an effort to embrace the finer ingredients of summer- primarily tomatoes and not only is it full of tangy, hot and juicy flavours but you’ll also be pleased to know that it’s fat free. The dressing also works beautifully with sautéed turkey or mince meat served in lettuce cups (recipe to come). I think you’ll find the chili’s help clear out your sinuses too.
Thai Green Bean Salad
This is a toss and serve salad so you can forget the trying to whisk and emulsify oil and vinegar to make the perfect dressing. If you really don’t like the pungency of fish sauce then use a low sodium soy sauce- but I urge you to give the fish sauce a try first! The idea is that there is a pool of dressing on the plate but if you choose to double the salad ingredients then this amount of dressing will suffice.
Serves 2 as a side
For the salad:
225g/ 8 oz green beans (or sugar snaps or mange tout)
100g/4 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 scallions, thinly sliced
handful of roughly chopped roasted peanuts (optional)
For the dressing:
2 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 thai red chili’s, finely diced (or other chili’s)
2 tsp finely grated/minced ginger
2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
1. Blanch the green beans in salted boiling water. My method is to allow the water to come up to boiling point, boil for one minute- fish a bean out and taste for doneness. If they are not cooked continue checking every minute.
2. Strain the beans and immediately chill (refresh) in a bowl of ice water. Dry off and mix together with the remaining ingredients. Allow to sit for 10 minutes and serve.