Green wheat, borlotti and green bean with goat’s cheese, walnuts and mint

Green wheat, borlotti and green bean with goat’s cheese, walnuts and mint

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Serves
as a substantial lunch; 12 or more as part of a larger meal
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

Borlotti beans have a short season, so it’s special when you get to use them fresh. If they’re out of season, you can substitute with dried beans. Cannellini beans are a good alternative, as they maintain their texture better when dried. Use 250 g (9 oz) dried beans.

Green wheat, or freekeh, is wheat that has been harvested before it’s fully dried on the plant, and then roasted. Freekeh refers to the harvesting and drying process, and not the grain, so while it is most commonly wheat, it can be made with any grain. Because the grains are harvested when they’re still green, they retain a lot of their nutritional value and are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.

I like to use a fairly fresh, soft goat’s cheese for this salad, and just break it over the dish before serving.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g cracked freekeh
1kg green beans, topped
1kg borlotti beans, podded
1/2 bunch mint, roughly chopped
handful parsley, roughly chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach, washed
3 spring onions, finely sliced
200g shelled walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
juice and zest of 1 lemon
75ml olive oil
2 teaspoons apple-cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
200g goat's cheese

Method

  1. Put the freekeh in a large saucepan and cover with 1.5 litres (51 floz/6 cups) cold water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, until tender. Strain and set aside to cool.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the green beans for 2–3 minutes until tender, then remove with a slotted spoon and refresh them in ice cold water.
  3. Add the podded borlotti beans to the boiling water and reduce to a simmer, then cook for 45 minutes. Drain and refresh them in ice cold water.
  4. Combine the freekeh, beans, herbs, spinach, spring onions, walnuts and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the oil, vinegar and lemon juice, and toss with your hands to mix and coat everything in the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl (or individual bowls if using), crumble the goat’s cheese over the top, then serve.
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