Didya get that? Or are you also still zombie brained from the (always-too-brief) holidays? You may pick up your membership card to Zombies R Us on your way out. So, after two weeks of doing nothing, glorious nothing!, it's back to the grindstone for me. And not just back to the grindstone, but back and with a HUGE deadline looming. Bleurgh.
But enough work-talk, you probably want to know what I did on my summer break right?
- made about a million pitchers (give or take...) of iced tea
- spent Christmas Eve celebrating the MIL's birthday with some super tender parmesan-crumbed chicken
- ate a smoked pork neck smothered with Southern Comfort and fresh orange juice for Christmas lunch
- drank bubbly paired with marshmallows & meringues (the almond one is to-die-for) at JC le Roux
- spent New Year's Eve in a swimming pool with sparklers
And I'll be honest, except for Christmas lunch, my kitchen wasn't particularly busy over the festive season. So when I finally dragged myself back in there last night, I wanted to make something that wasn't overly taxing. Oh and also I had some picture-perfect purple (yes purple!) beans still left over from my last veggiebox. Thank goodness it was still good-to-go, otherwise supper would've been a sad affair of leftover boerewors and uh... crispy onions. Mmmm. That actually doesn't sound too bad, does it?
But we had beans. And they were the most beautiful shade of deep purple, almost black. Some of the colour got lost in the cooking process (a mystery, as I didn't use any water that could've absorbed the colouring - is this normal?), resulting in purply-green-blueish marbled beans. Even prettier! I wanted to treat them simply and decided to do a riff on one of my mom's signature ways to prepare beans. Her method produces a warm side-dish of beans cooked in a flavourful onion and tomato medley. Simple, yet brilliant.
But if you're at all aware of the recent temperatures down here, you'll have no trouble understanding why I opted for a salad version this time. The tomatoes were simply chopped, salsa fashion and the onions went in the oven to crisp up. Then it was simply a matter of arranging the briefly cooked beans onto a pretty platter, topping them with the tomatoes, onions and sesame seeds and drizzling with a bit of oil and balsamic vinegar. What could be simpler?
*Warning - these onions are addictive. You could easily eat one, two or three onions all by yourself. Just saying.
Beans a la Mom
A Creative Pot original
Serves 4 - 6
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
olive oil (you can also use a nut or seed oil here to give a subtly different flavour)
200g king purple beans
200g green beans
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1. Spread onions onto an oven tray, drizzle a little bit of oil over and toss, then place in the oven at 180C for approximately 45 minutes. Check and move them around once or twice to ensure they don't burn.
2. Meanwhile, rinse your beans and briefly cook them (steam, boil or microwave) until just not-raw anymore. I cooked mine for just one minute in the microwave and they were perfect. Allow to cool before proceeding.
3. Arrange beans on a platter or in a bowl, top with crispy onions, tomatoes and sesame seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with a touch of oil and a generous amount of balsamic vinegar.
Why not adapt this simple recipe to accommodate what you have on hand? The tomatoes can easily be substituted with some chopped up bellpeppers and why not experiment with different flavoured oils or even a dash of chopped chilli to give it that extra kick.