Fairview Homestead | Broad Beans and Green Beans
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Broad Beans and Green Beans

We have just harvested the first beans of the season. I just have to share  our daughter’s memories of harvesting beans with you:
Long before I knew I would make a career of my passion for food, my childhood summers were marked by warm evenings congregated around the kitchen table, top- and tailing beans. In winter, my brothers and I were asked to squeezed one liter of orange juice per day as part of our daily chores and together with the bean harvest, these were the rhythms that marked the seasons of my childhood. As long as I can remember my father has been a keen vegetable gardener. He fought the odds in the harsh Namibian climate by building an elaborate shaded frame over his vegetable garden; and during one short summer spent in Canada, filled our basement with the sweetest sweet corn and buttery new potatoes. My mother has had to become very creative with my father’s harvests, be it spinach, broad beans or rhubarb there is always more than needed! She’s had to come up with a number of ways to preserve and capture the deliciousness for another day or season and this broad bean and garlic spread is just one of those recipes.


I have inherited my love for gardening from my father



Broad bean and garlic spread

1 whole garlic head, cut horizontally
4 cups of beans (can be replaced with butter beans)
Salt and milled black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
Olive oil, to drizzle
A small bunch parsley or thyme sprigs
Day-old baguette to make bruschetta
Optional: 2 rashers of streaky bacon, this gives the dip a delicious, smokey flavor.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Drizzle a little olive oil on the garlic and roast until it is completely soft.
In a small pot, fry the onion. Add the bacon, if you are using bacon and render slowly on low heat.
Add the beans and the soft garlic puree; slowly cook with the lid on for 20 minutes. Mash the beans slightly with a fork, but keep the dip chunky. Remove from the heat add the chopped parsley or the thyme leaves.
When serving drizzle generously with olive oil and salt and milled pepper. Serve with char-grilled bruschetta.

1 mini baguette, cut into 1.5 cm slices at a slant.
¼ cup olive oil
Heat a griddle pan until it’s smoking hot. Brush the bruschetta with olive oil and griddle until toasted and slightly charred.

Green Beans Marinated in lemon, chili, and coriander served with Quinoa

Quinoa is available in selected supermarkets but can be found in health stores and specialist food stores.
(Serves 4)

250 ml quinoa
300g green beans, tossed in oil
60 ml of olive oil
Juice and zest of a lemon
1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chili, seeded and finely chopped
A bunch of fresh coriander
50g toasted pine nuts
Salt and milled black pepper

Cook the quinoa in salted water, following the instruction on the packet.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, chili, and fresh coriander to make the marinade.
Chargrill the beans very quickly on a hot griddle pan and while they are still hot, toss them in the marinade. Allow them to cool and marinate for 20-30 minutes.
Season the quinoa, and serve with the marinated beans and toasted pine nuts. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with lemon wedges.




Philda Benkenstein

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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