Ask any Brisbane local where to get the best salads on-the-go and they’ll invariably throw one name at you: Botanica. Since 2013, owners Brett and Alison Hutley have been tossing together gourmet vegetarian and vegan salads for those both hungry and in a hurry.
This particular salad is designed for summer and revolves around green beans and citrus. It will most likely be on the table at the Hutley’s Christmas this year. “It will be lunch at our house with heaps of fresh food,” Brett says. “Mum has a pageant where my nieces and nephews get together and do some singing, then we sit down to a big spread of salad.”
With three ingredients and just 15 minutes of preparation required, there’ll be plenty of time to rehearse for your own family’s Christmas pageant.
Botanica’s Summer Green Bean and Lemon Salad
Serves 6–8 as a side
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
1kg green beans
100g dried cranberries (optional)
Handful of spinach (optional)
Salt and pepper
100mls olive oil
1 tbsp honey
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
With a small knife cut the tops off the beans. Blanch until they change colour from a matte green to a bright green. Refresh in a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with sea salt. Set aside.
Roast your hazelnuts in the oven until they turn golden. Remove from the oven. While still hot, rub the skins off with a clean tea towel. Crumble the feta. Zest lemons.
To make the dressing, peel your lemons of their skin and pith. Chop in half, then place half the lemons directly into the blender with the oil, honey and thyme leaves. Blitz until it has reached a creamy consistency. Season to taste and add half of the lemon zest.
To assemble salad, sprinkle remaining lemon zest over beans. Layer beans as a base, then the feta, hazelnuts, spinach and cranberries. Repeat until all ingredients are used.
Keep salad chilled until serving, and serve with lemon dressing. Enjoy with a chicken or turkey for a light lunch.