Two Salads: Green Beans & Asparagus + Potato & Dill


Now that we are a month into autumn, night comes early. By the time we are sitting down to dinner on the front verandah the shadows are long. By the time we finish, it is well and truly dark. So even though it is barely 8pm as I write this, I feel like it is much later. And even though I’m pretty fucken tired right now I’m enjoying being awake – the kids are both sleeping, S is reading in bed, there is a cool night breeze through the house, and I’m eating deliciously gingery pfeffernusse.

We got home this morning from a trip up the coast for the long weekend. We stayed in a cute cabin in the hinterland and spent a few days visiting markets, hanging at the beach, buying books, playing on swings, walking through gardens, and watching movies. It was a most lovely way to spend Easter. We are pretty well too – toasted homemade hot cross buns for breakfast, fresh bread and olives and cheeses and boiled eggs for lunch, takeaway fish ‘n’ chips on the beach for dinner.

There is something about eating oily chips and hot crumbed calamari wrapped in paper under an evening sky while still damp and sandy from the beach, cold beer in hand, that takes me to my happy place. It makes me feel like a teenager again, gently nostalgic for the boundlessness and ease that comes so naturally at that age. It had been too long – and was all the sweeter because I was hanging with the three people I love most in the world.


Of course after a weekend of bread and potatoes, we got home craving greens. These two salads more than make up for it. A while back I wrote about bringing it back to basics and sharing recipes that showcased a single vegetable. Both of these do just that – the Toasted Green Beans & Asparagus is all about the crunch and the green, the lemon juice and toasted seeds adding a bit of zing. And this Potato & Dill Salad is an easy and quick pairing of classic flavours.

You can’t go wrong.

Sarah x


Toasted Green Beans & Asparagus


18 green beans
18 asparagus
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp pistachios


Top and tail the green beans. Place the beans and asparagus into a shallow dish and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes then drain.

Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add the beans and asparagus to the pan, and toast for about 7 – 8 minutes, tossing regularly to ensure even coverage. Remove from the heat, and add the sesame seeds and lemon juice to the pan, stirring to ensure the beans and asparagus are well-coated.

Roughly chop the pistachio nuts and sprinkle over the beans and asparagus. Serve while hot.

Serves 2 – 3, as a side dish.

Potato & Dill Salad


4 – 5 waxy potatoes
1 cup of fresh dill
10 snowpeas
3/4 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp brown rice syrup (or honey)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, to cook


Wash the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Put the potatoes in a bowl along with a pinch of salt and enough cold water to just cover them. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer. The potatoes will take anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes to cook through depending on the size of the chunks and the type of potato. Check them for done-ness after 5 minutes, and then again at 8 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. They should be tender, cooked all the way through but not mushy. Drain and leave to cool.

Top and tail the snowpeas and cut on the diagonal, lengthways. Finely shop the fresh dill. Set aside.

Whisk together the mustard, oil, honey, and lemon juice.

In a small bowl combine the potatoes, snowpeas and chopped dill. Add the mustard dressing and stir to combine.

Serves 4, as a side dish.

Notes: this is a sturdy salad and will hold up well for a couple of days in the fridge. If you like your potato salad a little creamier, stir a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt into the dressing.



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