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Green beans with Wensleydale and fried breadcrumbs

I have started getting a weekly organic fruit and veg delivery by Riverford. After reading recently about the horrors of pesticides, I decided to go organic, with fruit and veg at least. Plus I like being more in tune with what’s in season. Also though, I wanted someone else to decide what we were having! I know that sounds crazy, but I love the challenge. I’m too tired and busy to think about it! I eat everything, and I want my kids to grow up the same way (no such luck as yet, but I’m working on it every day), so I love the fact that I don’t know what will be in there. 
We’re two boxes in. This week we got: bananas, apples, rhubarb, physalis, tomatoes, lettuce, salad pots, mushrooms, florence fennel (with masses of fronds too, great for soup) – and green beans! I like the fact that I have to use something every day, to get through it all. It’s making me a more inventive cook. (Don’t worry though, they supply plenty of recipe ideas for anyone who gets stumped.) 
Also, last week (my first order) was a little bit late due to an admin error. To make up for it, this week I got 2 posh little bottles of apple juice, plus a really lovely cook book filled with seasonal fruit and vegetable recipes. Thrilled to bits with that. Brownie points aplenty, Riverford! 
Anyway, I had some leftover breadcrumbs, as well as some cheese and a little parsley in the fridge, so this is what I had for lunch. I can’t vouch for the kid-friendliness of it, as they’re not here, but I bet they would give it a go – green beans are nice and easy to handle for little ones, so it’d be one to encourage them to eat with their hands. 
Serves: 4 as a side, 2 as a lunch 
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

400g of green beans
100g Wensleydale (any white crumbly cheese will do – use feta if you like)
25g (approx. a large handful) stale country / artisan loaf breadcrumbs 
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Small handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley 
  1. Plunge the green beans into a couple of inches of boiling water with a little salt. Steam for about 7 minutes, or until cooked just beyond the squeaky point! Drain and toss in oil and a little more salt. 
  2. Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, let it soften for a few minutes without colouring. Add the breadcrumbs and parsley, a large pinch of salt, and fry until brown and crisp. About 10 minutes should do. 
  3. Cut up the cheese into cubes, or crumble if it’s very crumbly. 
  4. Combine in a large bowl. Drizzle with more oil and eat immediately. 



  1. August 23, 2014 / 4:37 pm

    They are so good. We had some leftover and ate them cold later on with some sausages. The kids loved them!

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