Monday, August 2, 2010

Avocado, bean, pea and preserved lemon salad

One of the great things about travelling is that it reboots your recipe repertoire. There's always some new idea to try out when you get home - in the case of my recent trip to Oregon and Washington State, several. I was particularly impressed by their salads which made really original use of vegetables which are more often cooked. Like beans which were often served raw and accented with preserved lemon peel which seems to be flavour of the month in the NW.

I made something similar at the weekend having rashly bought a huge bunch of celery - an ingredient I feel I should like more than I do, particularly as it's such good value. Sliced on a mandolin and combined with crunchy raw beans and creamy avocado it really comes into its own. Soooo healthy too!

Serves 2-4

3 sticks of celery + their leaves, if possible
A good handful of runner beans
About 12 pea pods
Rind of 1/4 preserved lemon, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice or rice vinegar
3-4 tbsp light olive oil or sunflower oil
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper
Flat leaf parsley if no celery leaves

Wash and trim the celery and beans and slice finely on a mandolin. Pod and add the peas. Put the chopped lemon rind and lemon juice in a bowl, season with salt and pepper then gradually whisk in oil to taste. Halve the avocado, twist and peel then cut into rough chunks and add to the salad. Add the dressing to the salad and toss together gently. Garnish with the chopped celery leaves or parsley

I liked this on its own but reckon it would be really nice with salmon sashimi or barely seared tuna


  1. I really want to get a mandolin - i've just done a week's cookery course at Leiths and it's one of many kitchen gadgets on my list!!!

    This salad looks really fresh and lovely - only snag for me is the avocado - hate it. Anything you can recommend as a substitution?

  2. I hesitate to say tofu but think it would probably work with tofu. Also prawns if you're not a veggie. And mandolins are great - just make sure to get one with a guard