Salad of charred green beans, baked plums & girolles; elderflower dressing

A delicious summer salad that utilises 3 ingredients from this week’s gourmet hamper. Start with the plums, then by the time they are cooked, the rest of the salad will be ready. Best enjoyed just warm and eaten outside. This would also be fantastic with some goat’s cheese crumbled on top. Feel free to swap things as you please, but I have always loved the combination of vegetables and fruit in salads.

Green beans

Olive oil

Fine & Maldon salt


1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp thyme, chopped

4 handfuls mixed leaves

1 handful mint, ripped

Dressing:       1 lemon, zest (microplaned) and juice

60g olive oil

1 tbsp Chardonnay or white wine vinegar

3 tbsp elderflower cordial

-       Preheat the oven to 160C. Drizzle a roasting tray with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle lightly with 1 tbsp caster sugar, then sit the plums in this cut-side down. You can also add a splash of white wine if you fancy. Bake for 10 mins, then flip over, baste and give another 5 mins, then once tender but holding their shape, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

-       Preheat a chargrill pan or frying pan over a high heat. Trim the stem from the beans but there is no need to trim the pointy end.  Toss in 2 tbsp olive oil and season with fine salt, then char in the hot pan until blackened in parts, and the green transforms from matte to verdant as they cook. Remove from the pan and place in a large bowl. Season generously with Maldon salt: they can take a lot….similar to edamame or padron peppers.

-       Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and saute the girolles over a high heat to toast them rather than stew them. The searing heat will give them a wilder flavour. Add the thyme then transfer to the bowl along with the beans.

-       For the dressing, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, elderflower, vinegar and olive oil together. Pour this over the beans and girolles, then gently toss in the mixed leaves and the plums. Place on a platter, then scatter over the ripped thyme, and crumble over some goat’s cheese if using.

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