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Salmon, Bean, and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Quick Pickled Radishes

A summery salad to celebrate the best of the beans, with a combination of broad beans, runner beans, and French beans tossed with bulgur wheat, chunks of freshly cooked salmon, and tangy pickled radishes.

From the book


A feast of all the beans. Sling some Helda beans (see page 104 From the Veg Patch) and peas in too if you like – the more beans (and peas), the better. This salad is content without the salmon, but it would be lonely without the pickles; and as this pickle is the work of moments, it’s no bother to keep them happily united. Swap radishes for cucumber if you prefer, though you may, like me, be grateful for the opportunity to use up some radishes. But do pickle something – it really lifts the dish.

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For the salad
100g bulgur wheat
½ lemon, zest and juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
500g fresh broad beans (unpodded weight)
100g French beans
100g runner beans
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp finely chopped green herbs (a mixture of parsley, mint, chervil, fennel and dill would be perfect)
For the salmon
4 salmon fillets, about 500g total weight
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A few sprigs of fennel or dill
2 spring onions, sliced
4 slices of lemon
For the quick pickled radishes
75g caster sugar
100ml cider vinegar
12 radishes, thinly sliced


For the salad, bring a pan full of salted water to the boil. Add the bulgur wheat and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water, then transfer to a big bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Set aside while you turn your attention to the beans.

Pod the broad beans (unless you have especially portly beans, you can leave the pale jackets on). Top and tail the French beans and cut into 1cm pieces. De-string the runner beans by peeling both edges with a vegetable peeler, then top and tail and cut into 1cm pieces.

Boil another pan of salted water. Add the runner beans for 2 minutes. Then add the French beans and cook for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the broad beans and, you guessed it, cook for 2 more minutes, by which time all the beans should be just cooked through. Drain, rinse in cold water so they retain their colour, then pat or shake dry and stir into the bulgur wheat.

In a small bowl, mix the red onion with the red wine vinegar. Allow the onion to sit for at least 10 minutes; this takes the edge off it, eliminating the acrid, raw tang. Once softened, drain and add to the bulgur wheat bowl. Stir in the herbs and check the balance of the mixture: it may need a squeeze more lemon for acidity, another slug of peppery olive oil or a pinch more salt. Set aside.

Now to cook the salmon. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Place the salmon pieces on a single sheet of baking parchment, big enough to wrap over the top of the four fillets. Drizzle over the olive oil, then top each fillet with a few fronds of fennel or dill, along with the spring onions, some salt and pepper and a slice of lemon. Wrap the paper over the salmon to make a tightly sealed parcel, place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the quick pickled radishes, make a simple pickling liquor by dissolving the sugar in the cider vinegar in a small pan over a low heat. Remove it from the heat and cool for a moment, then add the sliced radishes to the pickling liquor and stir. Leave to mingle for 5 minutes.

By now the salmon will be cooked, so pile the bulgur wheat into a serving bowl, spoon over the drained pickled radishes, then serve the salmon alongside. If you can offer a bowl of the Aioli on page 171 too, then so much the better.


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From the book: From the Veg Patch

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