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.
Summer is salad time. This is the most easiest salad but so packed with flavour because of the passion fruit dressing. I find the passion fruit lifts everything and the combination with the balsamic does wonders to the simplest salad.
leaf salad with roasted tomatoes + parmesan shavings + passion fruit dressing
- For Salad
- 1 Large packet of mixed salad leaves
- 30g Parmesan shavings
- For Roasted Tomatoes
- 200g Baby tomatoes
- 2T Olive Oil
- For Dressing
- 115g Passion Fruit Pulp
- 1T Balsamic vinegar
- ½T Olive oil
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- First preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Coat all the tomatoes in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- For the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients together.
- Put all the salad ingredients into a bowl and drizzle liberally with the passion fruit and balsamic dressing.
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.
Lettuce + peas + onions – in French … Petits Pois a la Francaise. Sometime a go I decided to up my French cooking techniques and my friend Pierre (kitchenbabble.com) from Bangkok suggested we start cooking our way through Le Cordon Bleu at Home recipe book. As it then turned out, Saturdays became a specific cooking lesson, with Pierre in Bangkok and myself here in Cape Town, we set out on what was such an intriguing and rewarding international, virtual cooking experience. From other ends of the atlas, we emailed and facebooked our comparative findings.
This dish of lettuce + peas + onions was a lesson in which they paired it with a roast chicken. My culinary dictionary expletives included…it is absolutely delicious!!! As it happened, we did not finish the chicken – as this dish just took centre stage on the table…. My friends tucked into this dish, with bread in hand it was like a peasant dish – or from the look of my friends, their last meal as they soaked up the juices, finishing every little last little pea! You can serve this as a side dish or as a main meal – just bring the bread, good wine..and good friends.
peas + lettuce + parsley + onions = petits pois a la francaise
- 1 Small head of lettuce chiffonade * see at bottom of recipe for the chiffonade technique
- 5 Tablespoons of real butter (margarine is not going to work this time!)
- 3 Cups of peas ( I used frozen peas, I simply poured hot water over and let it stand for 5 minutes and thereafter drain)
- 18 Pearl onions pealed
- 1 Small bunch of parsley ( tie into bouquet with kitchen twine)
- ⅓ Cup water
- 11/2 T Sugar
- 1t Salt
- Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the lettuce + peas + onions. Stir gently until the lettuce wilts.
- Add the parsley + water + sugar + salt.
- Stand back, simmer for +/- 30 minutes, taste for seasoning, then be amazed!
- Remove parsley and serve.
- * Stack the lettuce leaves one on top of each other and roll them up tight into a cylinder – or something like a rolled lettuce tube. Then cut the cylinder crosswise into thin slices.