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Mixed Bean Salad

Yotam Ottolenghi

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi from Jerusalem

Fresh and fragrant with capers and thinly sliced garlic cloves, this mixed bean salad from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi celebrates the wonderful delicacy of the yellow and French bean.

From the book

Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi


String beans are in season in summer and early autumn and are a symbol of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana), particularly with Sephardi Jews. You would expect the fruit and vegetable market, Machne Yehuda, to be bustling the last two days before Rosh Hashana, a holiday on which a seminal family meal takes place. Often, though, the market is eerily calm. A taxi driver explained to us that the smart and canny housewives shop well before the holiday, when the prices are low, preparing and cooking whatever can be made in advance, and that only ‘mugs’ go shopping last minute, just before the holiday.

Yellow beans are wonderfully tender. We would suggest making an effort to find them, because they make a contribution to the general texture and the look of the dish, but you are perfectly fine substituting as suggested.

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280g yellow beans, trimmed (if unavailable, double the quantity of French beans)
280g French beans, trimmed
2 red peppers, cut into 0.5cm strips
3 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp for the peppers
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
50g capers, rinsed and patted dry
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
10g tarragon, roughly chopped
20g picked chervil leaves (or a mixture of picked dill and shredded parsley)
grated zest of 1 lemon
salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC Fan/Gas Mark 7.

Bring a large pan with plenty of water to the boil and add the yellow beans. After 1 minute add the French beans and cook for another 4 minutes, or until the beans are cooked through but still crunchy. Refresh under ice-cold water, drain, pat dry and place in a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, toss the peppers in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, spread on a baking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and add to the bowl with the cooked beans.

Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, add the capers (careful, they spit!) and fry for another 15 seconds. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and continue frying for another 15 seconds. The garlic should have turned golden by now. Remove from the heat and pour the contents of the pan immediately over the beans. Toss and add the spring onion, herbs, lemon zest, ¹⁄³ of a teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Serve, or keep refrigerated for up to a day. Just remember to bring back to room temperature before serving.

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From the book: Jerusalem

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