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Yotam Ottolenghi’s French Beans with Freekeh and Miso

Yotam Ottolenghi

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ramael Scully from NOPI: The Cookbook

This french bean, freekeh and miso salad from Ottolenghi's NOPI packs a flavourful punch; it's smoky and umami-rich, with a deliciously crunchy texture.

From the book

Yotam Ottolenghi, Ramael Scully


However long we’ve been working together, some ingredients will always ‘belong’ to Yotam and others will always show Scully’s hand at work. Freekeh and miso are two such ingredients – the smoky grain is Yotam’s and the umami-rich miso belongs to Scully. Like so many strong opposites, they pair together perfectly.

Nanami togarashi is a many-flavoured Japanese spice mixture which blends red chillies, sansho pepper, roasted orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, seaweed and ginger. It’s a lovely mix to have around – we rarely eat noodles, tempura or a bowl of donburi rice without adding a sprinkle. You’ll find it in specialist stores or online but, if you can’t get hold of any, cayenne pepper can be used instead.

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70g freekeh
100ml olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (65g)
1 medium celery stick, finely diced (45g)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
230ml vegetable stock
4 banana shallots, peeled, halved lengthways and cut into 2cm wedges (250g)
1 tsp nanami togarashi (or ½ tsp cayenne pepper)
250g shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed
200g shelled edamame beans, fresh or frozen
350g French beans, trimmed
10g tarragon leaves, roughly torn
35g pea shoots
1 tbsp nigella seeds
2 tbsp lemon juice
coarse sea salt and black pepper
For the miso dressing:
70ml sake
80ml mirin
1 tbsp caster sugar
40g white miso paste
finely grated zest of 1 orange


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.

2. Rinse the freekeh, soak it in fresh water for 5 minutes, then strain and set aside.

3. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a medium saucepan, for which you have a lid, and place on a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté for about 8 minutes, until soft. Stir in the freekeh and pour over the vegetable stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to mediuml ow and simmer for 15–20 minutes, covered, until the freekeh is cooked through and there is no more liquid in the pan. Remove the bay leaf and set aside.           

4. Mix the shallots with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the nanami togarashi and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

5. Mix the mushrooms with the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper. Spread out on a separate parchment-lined baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and, when cool enough to handle, slice the mushrooms into 1cm thick slices.

6. Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the edamame for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh under cold running water. Add the French beans to the water and blanch for 4 minutes, then strain, refresh under cold running water and leave to dry with the edamame.

7. To make the dressing, mix the sake, mirin and sugar in a small saucepan. Place on a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for about 8 minutes, until you have 100ml of liquid left in the pan. Stir in the miso, return to the boil for 2 minutes, until thick and caramelized and then remove from the heat. Stir through the orange zest and set aside to cool.

8. Place the freekeh, shallots, mushrooms, beans, dressing and ½ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Mix well, then add the tarragon, pea shoots, nigella seeds and lemon juice. Give everything a final gentle stir, transfer to a large platter or individual plates and serve.


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From the book: NOPI: The Cookbook

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