Green Beans with Freekeh and variety of Tahini

Trio of tahini dips

The theme of cooking farm-fresh produce continues in earnest. I like the idea of making a vegetable dish in an exclusively green palette, then dressing it up with vibrant eye-catching sides, inspired by the summer bounty. The salad recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More: green beans with freekeh and Tahini. (Tahini is an oily paste made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Iranian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisine.)

Freekeh is an ancient whole grain. The word “farik,” meaning rubbed, describes a natural process discovered about 4000 years ago which uses fire to capture the grain at its peak taste and nutrition. I used cracked freekeh which only takes 15 minutes to cook. The key to this salad is getting the freshest beans. The chopped walnuts on top is optional, but you wouldn’t want to leave them out for the crunchy texture they impart.

I made a trio of tahini dips on the side: store-bought tahini paste blended with beets, carrots and parsley in the Vitamix or food processor. Beet tahini is topped with roasted pine nuts; carrot tahini is topped with roasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds; extra parsley garnished the parsley tahini. The array of colors, textures and layers appeal to all the senses.

What better way to serve up tahini dips than pita bread. The pita bread dough was made a few days. I took it out of the fridge, shaped the dough into several tight balls and flattened them into about 6-inch rounds. Then they were slapped onto a blazing hot pizza stone in the oven. After a brief five minutes, the rounds were puffed up and ready. Perfect to be eaten with a colorful selections of tahini dip. The vegetables, tahini dips and pita bread are splendid together on a Middle Eastern lunch table.

Green beans with freekeh and tahini
Beet, parsley and carrot tahini dips




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  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    August 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    I love the contrasting colors of your tahini. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    What a beautiful mezze! I always think of tahini in conjunction with hummus – it's wonderful to see it used with those beautiful vegetables. I'm sure those dips taste as fabulous as they look!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Wow! I love to see the celebration of colors every time I visit your site. The green bean dish is so unique and wonderful. I think I could eat the whole plate:)

    Pita bread is such a fun thing to bake. I love watching it puff up in the oven. Even better dipping it in all those gorgeous tahini dips.

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    September 6, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    How did I miss this recipe in the book?! I love the green bean and freekeh combo and your tahini variations are so beautiful and vibrant. I would happily make a meal out of this. 😉

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