Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Beans a la Mom

 Green Bean Salad for Momd-w


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?

Well, I/we:
  • 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.
Green Bean Salad for Mom b-w

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
balsamic vinegar

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.


Linda on January 05, 2011 1:19 pm said...

May I be the first to say YUMMY! The marbled look is super awesome and I am now committed to getting a veggiebox order myself (please can you email me the details?). That salad looks amazing and those onions...mmmmmmmm. Lovely! Welcome back and lekker 2011 vir jou, jou man en die babatjies!

NicolaGeorge on January 05, 2011 1:31 pm said...

Welcome back! This salad look fab, I'm all for minimal cooking during this heatwave period. Am so jealous of your purple beans, I'm definitely going to try and get some when the site reopens.

Wynand van Ellewee on January 05, 2011 1:35 pm said...


Marisa on January 05, 2011 2:18 pm said...

Thanks, it's good to be back! To be honest, the purple beans taste pretty much just like the green ones, so it's really just the looks you'll be going for. Of course, they are darn gorgeous. :-)

Marisa on January 05, 2011 2:19 pm said...

Thanks - and a very happy 2011 for you & yours as well. Have emailed you the veggiebox info.

Joanne on January 05, 2011 7:33 pm said...

yay! I'm glad you're back! I've missed you dearly. I love how colorful this bean salad is with the purple beans. and still jealous that you spent NYE in a bathing suit. If I had done that...I would probably have frostbite throughout my body.

Jamie on January 05, 2011 8:37 pm said...

I love the colors. A good dish is always appealing to the eye. Thanks.

Beauty&theFeast on January 06, 2011 3:13 am said...

This salad is absolutely gorgeous! I'm sure it tastes as splendind as it looks. I can't wait to try it out.

Mika on January 09, 2011 12:19 pm said...

This one was my first snowy was much more magic than the others without snow...but I really can't imagine an hot christmas, it sounds so funny...I have to try it, on a beach, drinking fresh cocktails...
My favorite way to eat geen beans is in a simple salad with tomatoes and potatoes or cooked with chopped onions and basil, lot of basil...mmm...the simpler the better...
I have never tried those kind of beans, the taste is the same as the regular ones?

MaryMoh said...

What a healthy bowl of beans. I usually only cook the greens because it is the only available here. I have never seen the purple. Thanks very much for sharing. MaryMoh at

Koek! said...

I also didn't do much cooking over the hols, funny enough. This is a lovely recipe - beans are so boring, I'm always looking for interesting things to do with them!

Pille @ Nami-Nami said...

That's a gorgeously colourful bean dish you've got there!!!!

arcadia said...

Wat 'n pragtige kleur! Jou vakansie klink heel opwindend :-)

Marisa on January 19, 2011 8:29 am said...

They taste the same yes. I must admit a snowy Christmas sounds magical!

Unknown on March 03, 2011 7:14 pm said...

it's normal for purple beans to lose their color in cooking. not sure why, but it happens!

Add something to the Pot:

Thank you for taking the time to read & comment. There's only one thing I love more than cooking (& eating) and that's feedback from you! Please note that there might be a slight delay before your comment appears.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

The Creative Pot © Marisa H 2006 - 2011 Adaption of Cookiez Template, designed by Ipietoon for Free Blogger Template