Green bean salad with mustard seeds and tarragon


The perfect July salad:  gloriously green, high-summer seasonal, super-nutritious, and really pretty on the serving plate.  It’s an Ottolenghi recipe (from ‘Plenty’) and the flavour tones are complex but balanced. Serve alongside a new potato salad or a potato curry.


  • 250g French beans, trimmed
  • 250g Mangetout, trimmed
  • 250g Green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tsp Coriander seeds, roughly crushed with pestle and mortar
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Nigella seeds
  • Half a small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Mild fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • Tarragon


  1. Fill a medium saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil. Blanch the French beans for four minutes, then immediately lift them out of the pan and into iced water to refresh. Drain and dry.
  2. Bring a fresh pan of water to the boil and blanch the mangetout for one minute only. Refresh, drain and dry.
  3. Use the same boiling water to blanch the peas for 20 seconds. Refresh, drain and dry.
  4. Combine the beans, mangetout and peas in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Put the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and oil in a small saucepan and heat up. When the seeds begin to pop, pour the contents of the pan over the beans and peas. Toss together, then add the nigella seeds, red onion, chilli, garlic, lemon zest and tarragon. Mix well and season with coarse sea salt to taste.
  6. Just before serving, gently fold the chard leaves, if using, in with the beans and peas, and spoon the salad on to plates or into bowls.