Fi's recipe for grilled beans is sure to be a hit on Christmas day. If you want an extra a dash of spicy Christmas cheer, you can add a finely chopped red chilli to the dressing!

serves 6 as a vegetable accompaniment

150g green beans, tops trimmed, leave tails

150g butter beans, tops trimmed, leave tails

1 tablespoon light olive oil

small handful of torn mint and flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)


2 quarter pieces of preserved lemon section, pith and flesh removed, peel finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, crushed with ½ teaspoon sea salt using side of cook’s knife blade

2 spring onions, white and green section, finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt, to taste

To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a screw top jar and shake to combine well.  Add extra salt or lemon juice, to taste, if necessary.

Have beans at room temperature before cooking.

Heat oil on a cast iron grill hotplate or a barbecue hotplate over a high heat.  Cook beans, in two batches, spreading a single layer of beans over hotplate then grilling for 3 minutes turning over occasionally to cook evenly and making charred marks on beans.

Transfer beans to a large bowl.  Pour dressing over hot beans and toss to coat well.  Beans will absorb the flavours while cooling.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Spread beans and dressing over serving platter and garnish with extra mint and parsley leaves, if desired. 

Tip: If you don't want to use the barbecue or grill, the beans can be cooked (blanched) in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, or until just tender.  Drain well.  Transfer to a large bowl and toss with dressing, to serve.

Recipe, photos and styling by Fiona Hammond.   

Grilled Bean Salad dec17.jpg
Mark Brancatisano