Borlotti Beans with Spring Greens and Grilled Cheese

The weather may be summer like but the end of my borlotti beans on the allotment tells me it’s definitely autumn and time to start clearing and preparing the plot for the colder, shorter days. Borlottis are the only beans I grow now. In fact they are one of the very few successes this year. The young beans can be eaten pod and all like a runner bean, but without the occasional dodgy stringy one that ruins the entire meal. Later in the year as the pods turn a beautiful dark red the beans can be prised from their pods and used in soups, stews and even burgers.

This dish is made in three parts but none of them take long. The quantities should feed four with a bit of nice bread on the side.

Start with the beans.

approx 300g fresh borlotti beans (or a drained 400g tin if you can’t get fresh)
3-4 ripe tomatoes – chopped
1x400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 medium onion – chopped
olive oil – about 4 tablespoons
handful of parsley – coursely chopped
salt and pepper

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan or frying pan, but use one that has a lid. Fry the garlic and onion gently until softened then add the beans and tomatoes. Cover a simmer gently for about 40 minutes. Add the parsley, salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the remainder of the oil and leave to one side with the lid on.

Take 2-3 heads of spring greens. Slice finely and drop into boiling water for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain, season and add a splash of chili infused oil – or olive oil if you aren’t into heat. Cover and set to one side.

Take 1 250g pack of halloumi, cut into four slices and place under the grill, turning once. When and brown, remove from the heat and now plate up the dish.

Start by dividing the greens between the four plates, making a small crater in the middle of each pile. Fill the crater with the beans then place a slice of halloumi on top. Finish with a drizzle of oilive oil or chili oil.

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