Saturday, February 07, 2015

Broccolini & edamame salad with curry leaves & coconut

January 10, 2015

One of our friends had a brainwave recently - why not have an Ottolengh-themed potluck? She noticed that most of her friends had wound up with a copy of  Plenty More over the Christmas period, so she invited a bunch of us over with dishes in tow, so we could all sample widely from our new book. It was a cracking success - there was a stunning sweetcorn slaw, a gorgeous artichoke, mozzarella and candied lemon dish, some slightly disappointing spicy turnips and simple but effective green beans with freekeh. Plus the most beautiful cake I think I've ever seen - a lavender, apricot and walnut concoction that was mind-blowingly good (spoilers: this cake will be turning up here before too long!). We didn't get a very good shot of the whole meal, so multiply this blurry phone photo by about a million to get a sense of how spectacular it was.

We added a typical Ottolenghi salad to the mix - a combination of green veggies with the pizzazz coming from some curry leaves and grated, fresh coconut. Like any Ottolenghi recipe, there's a bit going on. The first (and scariest) step is to crack the coconut - youtube is your friend here. It turned out to be surprisingly easy to break it open, and then a bit trickier to actually dig the flesh off the shell. It's totally worth it though - the fresh coconut kicked this up from a good dish to something really memorable. After that you've just got to juggle your blanching and your frying and everything comes together. The green veggies are just barely blanched so that they maintain their crunch and flavour and the curry leaves, coriander, mustard seeds and lime give a tangy, complex flavour to it all. This was a real success story and a Plenty More recipe we'll return to again in the future.

Broccolini & edamame salad with curry leaves & coconut
(based on a recipe from Ottolenghi's Plenty More)

400g broccolini, trimmed (the original recipe uses sprouting broccoli, but broccolini works fine)
220g green beans, trimmed
200g podded edamame beans (we used frozen ones picked up at our local Asian grocer)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
30 curry leaves
3 whole dried chillies
zest and juice of 1 lime
10g coriander leaves
the flesh from 1 coconut, coarsely grated

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and throw in the broccoli and beans, blanching for about 2 minutes before throwing in the edamame beans. After another two minutes kill the heat - you want everything to be cooked but still with some crispness. Scoop out the veggies, put them in a colander and freshen them up with cold water. Drain them, pat them dry and pop them in a big mixing bowl and mix with a generous sprinkle of salt.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan. Throw in the onion with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and stir-fry for 5 minutes, until it's softened. Throw in the black mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Add in the curry leaves, lime zest and dry chillies. Stir fry for another couple of minutes and then pour the mix over the vegetables. Stir everything up and leave it to combine for a while, at least 10 minutes.

When you're about to serve it up, gently stir in the lime juice, coriander and coconut.


  1. wow great idea for a potluck and love all the greenery in that salad though cracking coconuts sounds challenging

    1. Hi Johanna - I was out of the house while Michael cracked the coconut and convinced that I'd receive text messages of frustration and mess! Quite the opposite - just one pic of a halved coconut. :-D

  2. That looks delicious! I love Ottolenghi’s recipes!

    1. Hiya Rika! We're big Ottolenghi fans too. :-)

  3. Themed potlucks are a great idea, especially if you have inspiration like Ottolenghi!

    1. Hi Amanda - I looooove a potluck, and a theme's a bit of fun too. :-)