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.
If you want to watch me making this sandwich … click here.
This is just a really delicious winter sandwich that will send your taste buds into somewhat of a happy twirl. This is definitely not for someone on a strict diet but it will definitely impress all your friends and loved ones. I used three of my favourite soft cheeses – Boursin (my ultimate!!), some blue cheese and normal cream cheese. What gives this sandwich somewhat of an edge is the fact that the cheese fillings are at room temperature and the luscious mushrooms are somewhat zingy, warm and juicy. The important element in preparing this sandwich is the preparation of the mushrooms.
Here are a few tips for frying mushrooms:
1. You need to add oil and butter to your non-stick pan – the butter adds that buttery, nutty flavour to the woody flavour of the mushrooms.
2. The pan must be smoking hot – if your pan is not hot enough the mushrooms will become soggy.
3. If you are cooking a lot of mushrooms – it is a good idea to cook them in batches.
4. Season your mushrooms while frying – for me the salt and pepper get etched into the delicious graininess of the mushrooms
5. Lemon and parsley always elevate the taste of the mushroom – try it.
zingy warm mushroom + three cheese sandwich = decadent + delicious winter sandwich
- 6 Slices of bread
- 1 Packet of micro leaves
- 300g Mushrooms
- 1T Olive oil
- 1T Butter
- 1T Fresh thyme –leaves picked
- Pinch of chilli powder
- Black pepper
- A generous squeeze of lemon juice (from ½ lemon or more)
- 5g Chopped parsley
- Cheese filling
- (cheeses must be at room temperature)
- 3T Cream cheese
- 3T Boursin cheese
- 3T Blue cheese
- Prepare the cheese filling first by mixing all ingredients.
- Butter one slice of the bread very lightly. Divide the cheese fillings into three and add to the other side of the bread.
- Then prepare your mushrooms: Cook the mushrooms + thyme in the olive oil and butter in a very hot pan – season with salt and black pepper. Do not let the mushrooms become soggy; they should be a beautiful nutty and brown colour. At the end at the chilli powder, a big squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley.
- Add your mushrooms to the cheese filling side of your sandwich, top it with the delicious micro burst leaves and top with the other slice of bread. YUM!