Photo by: Colin Campbell

Spring salad

Print Recipe

300g asparagus, trimmed and sliced on a sharp angle into 3-4 thin spears
200g french beans, topped
300g broad beans (fresh or frozen)
50g baby spinach leaves
1 shallot, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 red chilli, finely diced
½ tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp nigella seeds

I love dishes that feature the various shades of a single colour, making you stop to check what's in there. Spring and early summer are the time to do this with green, as now we have artichoke, rocket, asparagus, broad beans, watercress, samphire, peas, cabbage, all kinds of lettuce, runner beans, broccoli, spring onion, chard, spinach and many, many more to choose from. When you put a few of these in one bowl, you get the most glorious celebration of colour and spring.

Serves four to six.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the asparagus for two to four minutes, depending on thickness – you don't want them cooked to very soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Add the french beans to the boiling water, blanch for five minutes and transfer to the asparagus bowl. Drain both well, then dry with a clean kitchen towel. Blanch the broad beans in the same water for two minutes, drain, refresh and dry, then remove and discard the skins by pressing each bean gently between finger and thumb.

Put all the greens in a large bowl and add all the remaining ingredients and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir gently, taste, add more salt if you like, and serve at once.

Perfect with

  1. Nigella seeds

    Add bursts of flavour and drama to salads, pastries and grilled food with these little black seeds

    Nigella seeds

  2. Hot and sharp spice collection

    Something sharp, something sweet, something salty, something smoky.

    Hot and sharp spice collection


{based on 3 reviews}

Write Your Own Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or register

  • Recipes Delicious also with Pancakes
    (17/04/2016) It's spring time again and beans and asparagus are back in the shops. Looking for something new I kind of stumbled over this recipe. It was a bit of work, especially the broad beans. But it was worth every minute! We also felt like pancakes today and combine the warm salad with herby pancakes (wild garlic, spring onions, parsley), Everybody was delighted! Thank you very much!
  • Recipes Delicious
    (06/04/2016) I have not used Nigella seeds or sesame seeds in salads before. I also normally add vinegar... For once my salad did not taste just like any other I make. It is a very nice crunchy and filling salad. I made a bit much and when I ate the remaining salad the next day I slightly warmed it up... worked really well for me!
  • Recipes Great way to serve greens
    (29/12/2015) Had never used broad beans before so they were a bit of a revelation. They work really well in this salad and the sesame and nigella seeds are a lovely touch. It's a fiddly dish to make but it has a wow factor that makes it worth the trouble.