Three bean salad. I like it a lot. The Werda one in the plastic bag inside a box is a big favourite. Around a camp fire. In Botswana. When the nearest fresh veg is a 12-hour drive through the thick sands of Chobe away. At home I feel bad to go the store-bought route. It smacks too much of lazy cook and too little of domestic goddess.

Traditional three bean salad is of course NOT a thing of beauty. A bit like something Jackson Pollock would have created on a particularly hungover day. So I jazz it up with bright red kidney beans, white cannellini beans and the thinnest of thin green beans, barely steamed. I add spring onions and finely sliced radishes (one of the ‘in’ ingredients for 2015) and I tumble the lot on a plate in a vaguely deconstructed way (another ‘in’ thing right now). A sweet and sour sauce with a hint of curry pays homage to the traditional.

All you need is…

1 tbs sunflower oil
2 tbs red onion, diced as finely as possible
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp medium-strength curry powder (Rajah is perfect)
¼ tsp salt
5 tbs white wine vinegar
3 tbs brown sugar
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
small packet fine green beans
3 spring onions/scallions (with the green bits)
6 radishes

Steam or boil beans very briefly – they must be ever so slightly bendy with loads of crunch. Remove and plunge the beans into ice water until cool. Drain and set aside. Fry the onion in the oil over a low heat until soft (not brown). Add the garlic and curry powder and fry for a few seconds. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar and boil briefly, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Pour a third of the dressing over the red kidney beans, a third over the cannellini beans and a third over the green beans. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.

Finely slice the spring onions on the diagonal. Finely slice the radishes (I use a mandolin). Plate the lot up and serve straight away. This makes a great accompaniment at a braai (that’s barbie/barbeque for my far away readers). I also love it on it’s own as a light lunch.




10 min


10 min


tips, tricks and trivia

Reuse, recycle!

I love the sustainability thinking behind the packaging of this wine. These bottles are so gorgeous, there’s loads you can do with them. Use them to store flavoured olive oils. Pop a garlic clove and a rosemary sprig in a bottle and top it up with olive oil. Put a stopper in it and you’re good to go. Or place them on your dinner table with ordinary candles. Get someone to cut the bottles for you and use them to plant herbs or as a vase for flowers, a holder for pencils, water glasses, or pour wax in and create your own bespoke candles. Have a look here to see what all you can do.

enjoy with

This dish is great at a braai. In my experience most folks have a their own favourite wine for a braai. Whether you like white, red or rosé, one of my top wine discoveries this summer is the Protea range of wines from Anthonij Rupert Wyne. Initially only available overseas, they fortunately decided to share it with us as well. In white they offer a Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc – all with a cellar price of just R50. So too the rosé. In red there is a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, all with a cellar price of just R60. I love this kind of straightforwardness!

I like them all, but was particularly taken with the Sauvignon Blanc. Made of both warm-climate grapes (for wonderful fruitiness) and cold-climate grapes (for a lovely touch of green), this is my idea of a well balanced, highly quaffable pocket-friendly wine.

Best of all? The gorgeous bottles. Look on the left to see what all you can do with them.



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