Friday, 28 August 2015

Bean and walnut salad with a kokum dressing

Kokum or Garcinia indica is a dark purplish fruit that's used to make a refreshing beverage in summer, and as a souring agent (in its dried form) in food for the rest of the year.  Like a lot of traditional ingredients, it is supposed to have a pile of health benefits, (as you will see in the attached link if you manage to skirt your way around the ads and sponsored links) but it's the characteristic smoky sour taste that won it a place in this salad.


1 1/2 cups lightly steamed french beans (each bean was topped, tailed and snapped into two)
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup parmesan, thinly sliced and broken carelessly

1 dried kokum
1 T olive oil
1/4 t dried orange rind
1/4 t or less of chilli flakes
1 t water
Salt to taste


Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together until emulsified and give the flavours a chance to blend for an hour or more.  The kokum takes a while to release its flavours.

Mix the beans, walnuts and cheese, add the dressing and toss lightly.


If you can't get your hands on kokum, you could replace it with a teaspoonful of lemon juice and omit the water and orange rind.

The beans have to be at room temperature when you assemble this salad - to keep the delicate flavours intact.