Fig Bean and Toasted Pecan Salad

Serves 4
Preparation time 5 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time 5–6 minutes

Ingredients:

100 g (3½ oz) pecan nuts
200 g (7 oz) green beans, trimmed
4 fresh figs, cut into quarters
100 g (3½ oz) rocket leaves
small handful of mint leaves
50 g (2 oz) Parmesan or pecorino cheese

Dressing
3 tablespoons walnut oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon vincotto
salt and pepper

Fig Bean and Toasted Pecan Salad
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, add the pecan nuts and dry-fry, stirring frequently, for 3–4 minutes or until browned. Tip on to a small plate and leave to cool. Cook the beans in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under running cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put the beans in a bowl with the figs, pecan nuts, rocket and mint.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and paper. If you can’t find vincotto, use balsamic vinegar as an alternative. Pour over the salad and toss well. Shave over the Parmesan or pecorino and serve.

For mixed bean salad, combine 200 g (7 oz) cooked trimmed green beans with 2 x 400 g (13 oz) cans drained mixed beans, 4 finely chopped spring onions, 1 crushed garlic clove and 4 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs, then dress with 4 tablespoons olive oil, juice of ½ lemon, a pinch of caster sugar and salt and pepper.

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