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.
Carrot and potato mash with white pepper and butter was something I grew up with during my childhood. I remember it was one of my dad, Coen’s favourite dishes – he loved to scoop it onto his plate when it was still piping hot. He always added an extra bit of butter and more white pepper – Coen liked to spice things up and … the richer, the better. He was so in my thoughts when i made this dish on Dinner Divas – he would have been proud that I transformed the dish from the “boere tafel” of my childhood to an exotic type of Moroccan flavoured dish.
I did not mash it but rather crushed the potato, adding the butter and white pepper in remembrance of my dad and giving it that North African twist by adding dates and coriander. You would have loved it dad. You encouraged me to live one day at a time, to be crazy + to be myself, to cry + laugh every day, to live my dream, to travel the world, to give more than what I have, to try and fix whats wrong, to never give up, not to get discouraged by disappointment, to stand up and try again, to be adventurous, to be me … today I miss you so much … with love … your biscuit.
carrot + potato + date crush
carrot + potato + date crush = moroccan dream
- 200g Potatoes – peeled and cut in big blocks
- 200g Carrots – peeled and sliced
- 35g Dates – chopped
- ⅛t Salt
- 20g Butter
- Pinch of white pepper
- 2T Coriander coarsely chopped
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Boil carrots and potatoes together till cooked. Crush with a fork – this is not mash so we don’t want it fine like mash.
- Add the rest of the ingredients - mix well and serve hot with a few chopped dates on top of the dish.
Hot Olives – A few weeks ago I was on a business trip in the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, Guateng. The City of Gold has plenty of interesting foodie places well worth seeking out…Some colleagues and I ended up in a very interesting restaurant that serves both gossip and glitter to the well-heeled of Parkhurst and surrounds. We ordered a few small starters to share and one of them was hot olives with baguette. Never in my life would I have thought of heating olives in olive oil – isn’t that kind of like smuggling sand in the desert? Well, just so you know, this little starter tapas was so delicious. Heating the olives gives this stone fruit an undeniably new dimension. Dipping the fresh baked bread into the fragrant hot oil just seems to forge with the olives… leaving a most tantalizing taste….wash this down with some chilled wine and you could swear that you were sipping wines with the gods of ancient Greece!
It is just one of those really simple dishes you can make on the run or when guests come knocking unannounced…simple yet oh so sophisticatedly #hot-and-happening.
hot olives + baguette
- 150 ml Virgin olive oil
- 1t Fresh rosemary (not chopped)
- 1t Parsley - roughly chopped
- 2 Red chillies chopped (I like it hot but you can leave the chillie out of the recipe if you are not fond of the fiery stuff)
- 1 Garlic clove – finely sliced
- 200g Kalamata olives
- 1 Spring onion – chop the stalks and leaves
- 1 Fresh baguette
- Heat the olive oil, rosemary, chillies, parsely and garlic slowly in a pan for a 5 minutes minutes. Just to infuse the flavours with the oil.
- Add the olives and heat through for about 2 minutes.
- Add the spring onion at the end, give it a good stir + serve with baguette.