Shelling Bean & Spinach Pilaf

Shelling Bean & Spinach Pilaf

Serves 3.

Halloumi is a satisfyingly chewy, salty cheese that you sear in a pan like animal protein. Adding a nutty, vegetable-packed pilaf turns it into a full meal.

1 lb. fresh Red Dog shelling beans
1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Red Dog onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
3/4 cup long-grain rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. dried dill
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1 bay leaf
2 cups loosely packed chopped Red Dog spinach
1/4 lb. halloumi cheese, sliced into 1/4″ slabs and patted dry
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a saucepan half-full of water to a boil over high heat. Shell the beans, add them to the boiling water, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse them with cold water. Set aside.

In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until the butter and almonds are golden-brown and smell nutty, 1 1/2 minutes; scrape into a bowl and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 45 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the broth, dill, cinnamon, allspice and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Gently fold the favas and spinach into the rice. Cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, fry the halloumi slices until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Stir the parsley, almonds and lemon zest into the rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the cheese is quite salty on its own. Serve the rice with the halloumi on the side.