It’s August and the beans have begun to give. Their vines have been clambering up bean poles since June, and have now reached the top, tendrils to the sky with nowhere left to climb. I’m picking every other day, handfuls of lovely soft velvety beans. They’re most delicious when picked young and tender, but inevitably there’s one or two that get away from my plucking hands and they grow to almost inedible monsters by the weekend.
A dish boun from an evening entertaining neighbours (and simultaneously feeding them the gluts of beans), busy drinking and talking, and forgetting to watch the pan, which quickly burnt the beans. As it turns out, a bit of smokiness on a hot summer’s night is no bad thing, and teamed with this garlicky, honeyed, smoky yoghurt, easy to whip together, neglect being its friend, it makes a perfect pre-dinner snack, or simply serve as a side at your lovely summer barbeque.
- A large handful of beans, approx 120g (runner beans and green beans both work well)
- 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Large pinch of sea salt
- A glug of olive oil
- A teaspoon of coriander seeds
- Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds
For The Dip
- 200ml of Plain Yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of Za’tar
- A pinch of smoked paprika
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- A pinch of sea salt
- A thin slither of garlic, crushed
- Half a teaspoon of honey
Top the beans, (I like to leave their tails) and add the glug of olive oil to a frying pan on medium-high heat. You don’t want the oil to smoke, but you do want it hot. Throw in the beans, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds, cook for about 10 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes and let them begin to char. Once they begin to turn a nice colour, add the crushed garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in honey. Add salt to taste. For the yoghurt dip, mix all together, adding the salt, honey and lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle a little extra smoked paprika on top to serve.