Thai Bean Salad with Pink Grapefruit and Grapes

In Thailand, they use pomelo in salads, which is very similar to grapefruit. I have used pink grapefruit here, but when they're not available, you could ring the changes and use a thinly sliced, medium-sized mango.

Serves 4, or 6 as a starter

This recipe is taken from Delia’s Vegetarian Collection

Thai Bean Salad with Pink Grapefruit and Grapes
For the salad:
 4 oz (110 g) cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water, cooked for 1¼-1½ hours, or until tender, drained and cooled
 1 medium pink grapefruit, peeled and the segments separated and halved
 2 oz (50 g) red seedless grapes, halved
 grated zest 1 lime (reserve the juice for the dressing)
 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
 4 oz (110 g) rocket leaves, stalks removed
 2 oz (50 g) beansprouts
 1 stem lemon grass, trimmed, tough outer layer discarded, then very finely sliced
 3 kaffir lime leaves (if available), rolled into a cigar shape and very finely shredded
For the dressing:
 2-3 medium-sized red chillies, halved and deseeded
 2 cloves garlic, peeled
 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh root ginger, peeled
 6 sprigs fresh coriander
 1 sprig fresh mint
 juice 3 large limes (about 4 tablespoons including the reserved juice from the salad ingredients, see above)
 2 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
 1 teaspoon light (or dark) soft brown sugar
 a generous pinch of salt


First, pre-heat a small frying pan over a medium heat, then add the sesame seeds. Keep them on the move until they're golden and begin to splutter – about a minute. Then remove the pan from the heat and allow them to cool.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Blend the chillies, garlic, ginger, and the sprigs of coriander and mint in a food processor or blender until finely chopped, and add the lime juice, oil, sugar and salt and whiz again.

Next, put the cooked beans into a bowl and pour over three-quarters of the dressing, then add the lime zest and most of the chopped coriander and mint (saving some to sprinkle over later), then toss so it's well coated.

Just before serving, put the rocket leaves and beansprouts into a large mixing bowl, toss them in the remaining dressing with the beans, then arrange the salad on an oblong serving dish, along with the chunks of grapefruit and the grapes here and there.

Then sprinkle over the lemon grass, lime leaves (if using), the remaining coriander and mint, and the sesame seeds.

Serve immediately.

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