My mom used to make this side dish for us for years back in our days in the Free State…to help stave off the winter chill and provide some good nourishment to accompany a meat dish as opposed to just the ‘vleis, rys en aartapples” (meat, rice & potatoes) staple. We were fortunate enough to have a large vegetable garden in which my brothers and I had to do our time in turning the soil and tendering to the veg patch. I remember there were always these long green beans – and delicious ones too. While in matric (Grade 12) I had to lose a kilo or two so that I could fit into my matric dance dress – I was a size 10 in those days! I lived for weeks on beans and tomatoes – just cooked up, plain and simple … and fitted in my dress! The flavours have stayed with me to this day. The big secret to this simple fare is not to overcook the beans…. They still need to have a bit of a bite.
Filled with nostalgia, I made this dish once again and served it as a warm bean salad – I added some freshly ground black pepper a drizzle of the best olive oil and to complete the dish a generous squeeze of lemon juice and some twigs of parsely. The olive oil, lemon juice and parsley renders the dish into a modern veggie serving that I absolutely love. If you like, you can always eat this as a main meal with a slice or two of freshly baked bread. Just paddle the bread through some of the lovely juices….just plain delicious is what it is…unadulterated veg at its best.
Three more ideas with green beans:
Steam or boil the beans until just cooked – add some bacon and a knob of butter.
Steam or boil the beans – add salt, black pepper, a bit of garlic and a knob of butter.
Cook beans with potato and onions and flavour with salt, white pepper and a knob of butter.
warm bean salad with olive oil + lemon + parsley
- 400g Green beans (ends and strings removed)
- 300g Tomatoes, sliced
- 200g Onions, sliced
- 125 ml Water
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Put all the ingredients into a pot with the water. Cook on medium heat for +- 5-10 minutes until all is soft and cooked - but not overcooked.
- Season with salt and pepper and give a generous squirt of olive oil. Mix the lemon juice and chopped parsley through and serve immediately as hot as you can.
I love to taste things and to eat things that I have never tasted or eaten before so when I was asked to take part in the Crush Findus Wok Challenge with an exotic veggie stir fry packet that contains ingredients like lotus root + green garlic + water chestnuts, I jumped at the opportunity. It was like opening a veggie lucky packet of mysterious ingredients! The best discovery was the delicious and crunchy + mildly sweet lotus root … well I fell in love with this curious vegetable. It was this perfect, beautifully white root with big wholes that jumped onto my plate. It immediately brought a smile to my face. It is little wonder that the lotus flower is adored and admired by so many.
Within the Buddhist religion… of which I am an ardent follower… the lotus flower is well known to me and so revered by other believers. Buddha is often represented on a pink lotus and within the rich symbolism of the Buddhist philosophy the lotus represents purity of the body, speech and mind and symbolises faithfulness.
So you, little lotus root are more than just a thing of beauty. I have read that you are high in dietary fibre, are considered a good food source for energy and as you are high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein, you make a remarkably healthy food choice. I found out too that you can strengthen my spleen, promote the activities of my stomach and assist with tissue re-generation – thank you lovely one – and like me you also love soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. No wonder I fell in love with you. You are my new food muse. I decided to make a warm beef and vegetable salad with my exotic vegetable pack. You must just try this – it’s fresh, crunchy, easy and delicious.
If you like my recipe, please go to Crush and vote for my exotic-asian-love-story with its beauty in a lotus root.
warm beef + vegetable salad = an exotic-asian-love-story with its beauty in a lotus root
- 300g Fillet steak
- 1T Oil for frying
- Salt for seasoning
- Pepper for seasoning
- Wasabi Mayonnaise
- 3T Japanese sushi mayonnaise
- ¼ - ½ t Wasabi paste
- 1½ t Ginger - grated
- 1t Garlic - grated
- 125ml Soya sauce
- 1½ T Fresh lemon juice
- ½ Chopped chilli (optional)
- 2T Water
- 500g Packet Findus Wok Chinese (1 Pack)
- 1T Oil for frying
- Firstly make your dressing – just mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Then make the wasabi mayonnaise by stirring the mayonnaise and wasabi past together.
- Season the steak and fry to your taste. I like medium rare for this salad. Let it rest. I like to fry the meat in a separate pan – I do not want the flavours of the meat to be infused into the veggies when cooking – it detracts from the stark freshness and crispiness of the veggies.
- While the beef is resting – add oil to your wok and stir fry the veggies as per the instruction on the pack. Don’t add any seasoning or flavouring at this stage. The flavouring is in the dressing that we are going to pour over the veggies – almost like a salad dressing of sorts.
- To serve: Slice the beef into thin slices and place these on a plate, dress each piece with a bit of the dressing. Now add the veggies on top. Sprinkle generously with the dressing. Now add a few dollops of the wasabi mayonnaise here and there over the dish.. If you want you can also sprinkle with a few sesame seeds.
After a brief but blitzy gastronomic tour through Johannesburg this past weekend I returned home in need of something healthy – something green. So I made this delicious + scrumptious + sumptuous salad. It’s fresh and easy – just add all the ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle with some salt and drizzle with lemon infused olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I like to serve the baby marrows still warm from the oven and then all the other ingredients at room temperature. It’s crunchy, creamy, tangy and really splashy in flavours. Enjoy.
My favourite shades of green:
+ Irish colour green – I am married to a wonderful man of Irish descent … where everything from the Emerald Isle seems to be green;
+ The green of an olive;
+ The green colour of growing grass;
+ Lime green;
+ … and then the US Dollar green. 🙂
green salad + broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast = fresh + sumptuous
- For baking the baby marrow
- 400 g Baby Marrows
- 2T Olive Oil
- For the broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast
- Melba toast – decide how many you want – I like plenty
- Handful of green olives - chopped
- 100g Peppery Chevin goats cheese
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Other salad ingredients
- 250g Asparagus (I only had tinned asparagus but fresh asparagus will be first-class)
- 1 Handful pumpkin seeds
- 1 Handful pistachios
- 1 Avocado sliced
- Few sprigs of parsley – torn
- Lettuce of your choice – I like to use the frilly lettuce for this salad – it looks pretty
- Lemon infused olive oil
- 1 Lemon
- Baking the baby marrow: Preheat oven to 180 °C. Coat each baby marrow with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven and cut length ways.
- The broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast: Break the Melba toasts up into pieces. Mix the goats cheese, green olives and the lemon juice together and smear on each piece of toast.
- Making the salad: Mix all the ingredients together. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with some salt.
- Serve with love.