Just because the summer is over, doesn’t mean you have to forgo salads. There are still plenty of options out there. It’s so easy to fall into the sandwich trap here in Berlin. Every corner store has a bakery, all you have to do is nip out and buy a “brotchen”, smear on some butter or mayonnaise, some cold cut or other and basta! Don’t get me wrong, sandwiches can be the bomb! A BLT with responsibly sourced bacon can totally rock your world but a “woops it’s lunchtime, need fuel” sandwich is depressing!
I love this salad, I came up with it because I was “feeling” Vietnamese but couldn’t be bothered to trek to my take away joint. It’s a combination of crispy green beans, refreshing peppers, crunchy carrots and that sour, salty sweet Vietnamese combo that keeps me coming back, time after time! Mung bean noodles are a key ingredient so make sure you have them, they retain their bite and become transparent after they have been cooked. In contrast to rice vermicelli that becomes opaque and often goes too soft.
By now you have probably noticed that my recipes often call for fresh herbs. I don’t for a moment think you should go out and spend €1.oo per bunch every time. But do buy yourself potted herbs. Mine live quite happily on my balcony and every time I need some herbs, I snip some off. There is no substitute for fresh herbs and they can really help push your soup, salad or dish from “Ya, good…” to “Wowsers!”.
300g green beans, topped tailed and blanched for 3 minutes in salted boiling water
3 carrots, cut into long match stick sized strips
50g, mung bean noodles (cooked according to packet instructions)
1 red or yellow pepper, cut into strips
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 & 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 a teaspoon of palm sugar or soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted to golden in a dry frying pan (no oil)
2 tablespoons of roughly chopped coriander
2 tablespoons of roughly chopped mint
1. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice, whisk in the fish sauce and the sesame oil.
2. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables and noodles. Drizzle the dressing over the top, sprinkle over the chopped herbs and the toasted sesame and toss well to combine.