Use any fresh, seasonal beans: string beans, fine beans, romano beans, yellow beans, mangetout – adjust the cooking times depending on the bean. I serve this as a salad at room temperature but it could also work hot as a side – add the lime, cashews and coriander just before serving, though. Serves six.
1 (600g) crisp lettuce (romaine, little gems, chinese leaf) cut widthways into 4cm-thick slices
300g sugar snaps
300g french beans, trimmed
300g runner beans, trimmed, fibrous threads removed and cut into 5cm pieces
3 tbsp oil
40g cashews, chopped
2 shallots/sm,all red onions, finely chopped (100g)
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped
Zest of 1 lime shaved off in thick pieces
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
10g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp lime juice
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snaps, french beans and runner beans and cook for four minutes, until cooked but still with some bite. Drain and refresh under cold water before adding to the lettuce. The lettuce and beans should be dry, so pat them down with a clean tea towel.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high flame, then fry the nuts for one to two minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Add the shallots, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves, lime zest, pepper, coriander seeds and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt to the hot pan and fry on low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until golden brown. Discard the lime zest, then add the beans and cabbage to the pan. Stir-fry for two minutes, until everything is combined. Off the heat, stir in the coriander, nuts and lime juice, and serve.