Kathy Slack's Griddled Beans with Goat’s Cheese
Extracted from From The Veg Patch by Kathy Slack (Ebury Press, £25). Photography by Kathy Slack.
"Helda beans are like runner beans 2.0. They're flat and long like runners, but smooth-skinned and stringless. They grow really well at home, mostly untroubled by pests, but if you don’t grow your own, they're easy to get hold of in shops, often sold as flat beans or 'stringless beans'."
"The griddling of the beans can be done easily on a barbecue grill over a medium-high direct heat, or in a griddle pan. I almost always serve this dish at barbecues, scattering generous handfuls of herbs (and edible flowers if I can find them) on top with crusty bread alongside. It’s a relaxed dish, that has lazy summer lunch written all over it."
- 700g Helda beans, or other flat beans, such as young runner beans, topped and tailed
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp runny honey
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- Small bunch of mixed green herbs (parsley, mint, dill, sorrel, chives, basil)
- 125g soft, creamy goat’s cheese
- Edible flowers (eg chives, nasturtiums, pot marigolds) to finish (optional)
Set a griddle pan over a high heat and leave it to get really hot, or prepare your barbecue grill (see intro).
Toss the beans in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place them in the hot griddle pan or on the barbecue grill and cook for 2–3 minutes, then turn them over and cook for the same amount of time on the other side, so they become branded with dark char lines on both sides. Depending on the size of your griddle or barbecue, you may need to do this in batches to achieve uniform charring.
Once cooked, transfer to a heatproof mixing bowl. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil and the honey, vinegar and spring onions, along with a pinch of salt. Tear the herbs and add them too. Mix, then check the balance of flavours and adjust as needed.
Pour the dressing over the warm beans and muddle everything together gently.
Arrange the dressed beans on a serving platter. Daub pieces of goat’s cheese on top, shower over a confetti of petals to finish, if using, and serve.