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Green bean salad with pomegranate, nori and sesame vinaigrette

Chef Helen Graham, of Middle Eastern London restaurant Bubala, presents fresh ideas for a vibrant summery spread of exciting dishes bursting with bright colours and bold flavours

This is a really simple salad, but the dressing packs a lot of punch and the saline flavour of the nori and the tangy pomegranate make it really bright and fresh. It would be particularly good paired with salmon for a light meal.

Developing salads is probably my favourite thing to do because, for me, it is all about building layers of contrasts to create something delicious, At Bubala, we believe that any one item from our menu could be eaten in isolation and convey what we are about; playfulness, bold flavours and an element of surprise. Every component needs to make a statement, with punchy ingredients like pomegranate molasses and tamarind. This time of year is perfect to experiment with exciting dressings, to reawaken the palate and evoke the adventure of summer. Here, I am taking you on a journey from Yemen, through Japan, to Israel and Sri Lanka - the next best thing to jumping on a plane. 

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Serves 6

For the dressing

1 clove garlic
1½tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 sheet nori
1½tbsp maple syrup
2tbsp soy sauce or tamari
½tsp sumac (optional)
½tsp Maldon flaked sea salt
150ml rapeseed oil
1tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the beans

400g green beans, topped and tailed
  1. Methods

    Step 1

    For the dressing, place all the dressing ingredients, except the rapeseed oil and the sesame seeds, in a blender and blend until smooth. Leaving the blender running, slowly pour in the oil to emulsify. Stir in the sesame seeds.

    Step 2

    For the beans, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the beans by boiling on a high heat for 4 minutes, then transfer to a colander placed in the sink. Run cold water over the beans until they are completely cool. Leave to drain and dry.

    Step 3

    Toss the dressing and beans together in a large bowl to coat thoroughly, then transfer to a platter to serve.