Feekeh! No longer an ingredient that we need to travel across town to buy. With several Afghan shops closeby in my new neighbourhood, those sorts of ingredients now go on the weekly shopping list. Oh, the joy!
This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More, one of my fav of his books. Beans are cooked and mixed with walnuts, then drizzled with a minty-tahini dressing. The dressing is what ranch dressing would taste like if it spent a few months traipsing through the Middle East, so they say.
Yotham advises beans of the best quality for this dish. He also says that the walnuts can be omitted, but we are loving them so much this season, so they are definitely in. They provide a texture in this salad that is otherwise missing.
Similar recipes include Italian Flat Bean Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnut Crumbs, Green Bean Salad with Asparagus, Olives and Black Garlic, Grilled Lettuce with Farro and Lemon, Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing, and Cyprian Grain Salad with Freekeh.
Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini
70g freekeh, rinsed and drained
700g green beans, trimmed
chervil leaves, if available
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
0.5 tspn sliced red chilli, or use chilli flakes or crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1.5 tspn dried mint
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tspn pure maple syrup
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl with 0.5 tspn salt. Shisk until combined. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water, and bring to the boil. Add the freekeh and 0.5 tspn salt. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 mins (longer for uncracked freekeh), uncovered, until the freekeh is cooked but still retains a bite. Drain and refresh well under cold water. Transfer the freekeh to a large bowl and set aside.
Cook the beans in plenty of boiling water with salt, boiling rapidly for 4 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Pat dry, and add the beans to the freekeh.
Pour over the tahini dressing and mix gently so that the beans are coated.
Just before serving, add the chervil, walnuts and a sprinkle of chilli flakes, mix through and serve.