Mozzarella and green beans

My ideal summer lunch usually involves as little cooking as possible, and salads such as those of lightly cooked green beans in a herby dressing are very much in evidence throughout the summer. I sometimes serve them piled on top of slices of mozzarella as here, but they are especially good with air-dried ham or smoked trout, and I am particularly fond of them on top of thickly sliced smoked salmon. The choice is endless.


Serves 2

150g French beans
750g (approx. 300g shelled weight) broad beans

For the dressing:
Basil leaves – about 20 large
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A small clove of garlic
A large ball of buffalo mozzarella


Achieving the perfect results

  1. Top and tail the green beans and cook them in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes until tender, then drain them and rinse under cold, running water. They should retain some crunch.
  2. Pod the broad beans and boil them for 7-8 minutes until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside. If the beans are exceptionally small and the skins thin and tender there is no need to skin them, but if they are large then you might like to consider popping them out of their skins – it doesn’t take long and is a pleasurable enough thing to do. The result is a better salad.
  3. Whiz the basil, vinegar olive oil and garlic to a smooth green dressing in a blender or food processor. Cut the mozzarella into thick slices and divide between two plates. Surround with green and broad beans and drizzle with the dressing.

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