Beef Larb Salad with Green Beans

I took this picture at the butterfly exhibit in the Desert Botanical Garden. I went with my mom and my sister and we had such a great time. This exhibit is one that the young and old can appreciate together. You could hear children squeeling if a butterfly came real close and others whispering, what a contrast... The weather was nice as most days are this time of year in Phoenix Arizona. Everyone that lives here knows these days are numbered, much like these beautiful little bugs. Recipe below is from the cookbook "Salads: Beyond and The Bowl" by Mindy Fox. What an incredible find. So many great main meal salads, just perfect for this time of year.


1 1/2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1/2 pound green beans trimmed
8 handfuls of baby green lettuce (recipe used green cabbage)
3 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound lean ground beef (recipe used 1 pound)
1/4 red onion (sliced thin)
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
3 tablespoons finely chopped salted roasted cashews
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium Serrano chili (thinly sliced)

To prepare:

In a small dry skillet, toast the coriander seeds over medium-low heat, shaking the pan back and forth until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a mini processor or spice grinder and coarsely grind, or crush and chop using the flat side and blade of a chef's knife. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Cook the green beans in a small saucepan of salted water for 1 minute. Drain and run cold water to cool. Pat dry, then very thinly slice the beans crosswise and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cabbage and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro and toss to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, 2 tablespoons lime juice, garlic and sugar.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and breaking up the meat, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and adding the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, the fish sauce mixture, the onion, scallion, cashews, basil, mint, cayenne and half the chili, stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

To the lettuce mixture, add remaining tablespoon lime juice, the remaining tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss to combine.

To serve, divide mixture among plates, top with beef mixture. Sprinkle with the toasted coriander seeds and garnish with basil leaves and remaining chili. Enjoy!

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Andersen


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