The toasted sesame seeds in this salad give it a smoky toasty flavour: mixed with the tamari and a bit of sweetness, you get a delicious flavour bomb. It’s also nice warm, in which case have the sesame dressing ready to mix into the beans as soon as they are cooked, and don’t plunge them into iced water.
7 oz (200g) green beans, bite size slices
1 oz (30g) sesame seeds
3 teaspoons tamari or shoyu soya sauce
1½ teaspoons sweet freedom/agave/maple syrup/sugar
1. Steam or boil the green beans until just cooked. Immediately drain and plunge into ice cold water to stop them cooking. Drain and place on kitchen towels to dry. You want to get the beans fairly dry.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan on a low to medium heat. Watch them because it just takes seconds for them to turn from a perfect toasty colour to burnt. You want to toast them to that point just before they start going black and burnt. They should go slightly past the golden stage.
3. Put half the toasted sesame seeds into a medium-sized bowl. Grind the rest to a paste using a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder. Add the paste to the whole sesame seeds in the bowl, together with the tamari and sweet freedom. Stir to combine.
4. Add the prepared vegetables and carefully mix everything together. Taste and if desired add more soya sauce or sweetener. Serve immediately for the best flavour, or within a few hours.
If the paste is too hard to mix into the green beans, add a little warm water, saved from the steamed vegetables. Add as little water as possible.
Try replacing some of the green beans with broccoli or peas, they both work well.
Sweet freedom is the brand name of a liquid fruit blend of apple, grape and carob. You can find it in supermarkets, vegan grocery stores and health food shops, usually next to the maple syrup.