Spring Green Salad

by Michelle Fierek

Adapted from Chef Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Plenty More,” this recipe is vibrant, fresh, and healthy! It has a Mediterranean flare with the interesting ingredient nigella seed, which has the flavor of oregano and toasted onion. Also called kalonji or charnushka, I was able to find it at our local Appleton spice shop. If you can’t find it, black sesame seeds will also go well in this salad.  



1/2 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and sliced on sharp angle into bite size pieces
8 ounces French green beans, ends trimmed
10 ounces edamame beans, frozen
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 red chili, finely diced
½ teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
Salt to taste 


1) Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch asparagus for 3-4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Add the French beans to the boiling water, blanch for 5 minutes, and transfer to asparagus bowl. Drain both well and pat dry with a clean towel. Blanch the edamame in the same boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain.

2) Put all greens in a large bowl, add shallots, and all remaining ingredients, plus ½ teaspoon of salt.  Stir gently to coat, taste, and add more salt as desired.