Greek Braised Beans with Bulgar Wheat

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Greek Braised Beans with Bulgar Wheat

This hearty braise, made with chunky, spiced butter beans is inspired by the fragrant flavourings of Greece. We’ve stirred in warming cumin and cinnamon, aromatic oregano, and some lovely squeaky green UK runner beans, and served the lot spooned over fluffy grains of bulgar wheat.


  • 150g bulgar wheat
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 1 onion
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g butter beans
  • 400g tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 200g runner beans
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only
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1. Fill your kettle and boil it. Tip the bulgar wheat into a heatproof bowl and pour in 300ml boiling water. Swirl with a fork, then pop a plate on the bowl and set aside to soak for 15-20 mins. The bulgar wheat will soak up the water and become tender.
2. While the bulgar soaks, peel and finely chop the onion. Warm a pan on a medium heat for 1 min, then add ½ tbsp oil and the onion. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring every so often, for 5 mins till the onion looks glossy.
3. While the onion fries, peel and crush or grate the garlic. Stir the garlic into the glossy onions with 1/2 tsp each ground caraway seeds and cinnamon and 1 tsp dried oregano. Drop in the bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 min.
4. Tip in the butter beans with their liquid. Tip in the tin of cherry tomatoes. Stir to mix, then pop on a lid and bring up to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 mins.
5. While the beans simmer, trim the woody ends off the runner beans and pull any strings off the side of the beans (or slice them off if that is easier). Roughly chop the beans.
6. Give the beans in the pan a stir and use a wooden spoon to lightly crush the cherry tomatoes against the side of the pan. Add the runner beans to the pan and simmer, without the lid on the pan (this helps keep the beans green), for 8-10 mins till the runner beans are tender.
7. Pick the leaves off the parsley stalks. Taste the braised beans and add a pinch more salt if you think it needs it. Fluff the bulgar wheat with a fork and drain off any excess water. Spoon the bulgar wheat into 2 warm bowls, top with the braised beans and garnish with parsley leaves.
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