Green bean salad with crispy quinoa and lemon tahini dressing

Green bean salad with crispy quinoa and lemon tahini dressing

Green bean salad with crispy quinoa and turmeric-lemon tahini dressing

Green bean salad with crispy quinoa, pickled red onion, and lemon-tahini dressing

It's no secret that I love salad. 

Salads are my favorite part of any spread because they're usually the most texturally dynamic and bright with acid. And salads can be so much more than just lettuce and dressing. There are infinite variations that can showcase the very best of the season and environment.

I hosted an October brunch in Berlin one weekend. Although this was the very end of green bean season, I wanted a crunchy green veg to compliment all of the pumpkin (aka kürbis) and breads that would be served.

For this salad, I blanched green beans so that they retained a refreshing bite. I dehydrated quinoa overnight in the oven. And tossed it with pickled red onion and a lemon tahini dressing. The acid from the onions, creamy umami from the tahini, and crunchy green beans were a great side dish that became my favorite of the day. Make sure to properly crisp the quinoa or else the grains will be too hard and will get stuck in your throat, eek!  

1 kg Green beans
50 g Dry quinoa
50 g Pickled red onions
60 g Tahini
1/2 of a Lemon
Pinch of Turmeric
Salt/Pepper to taste

Make pickled red onions: I use a 1:2 rice wine vinegar to water brine based on David Chang's pickling recipe and cut them extra thin. 
Dehydrate quinoa over night: place dry quinoa on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and dehydrate in the oven at 200˚F or 100˚C for around 12 hours or until puffed and crispy. 

For green beans: 
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add enough salt so that it tastes of the ocean. Blanche green beans for 1-2 minutes, or just until they retain their crunch, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Strain and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. 

For dressing: 
Mix tahini, lemon juice, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in water, a little bit at a time, just until sauce is at a consistency that can coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning/acid if needed. 

Toss all components just before serving. Adjust salt/pepper/acid if needed.