Thursday, 9 January 2014

Madagascar Bean Medley

We have a very full house at the moment.
MOH (My other half) plus two adults, two teenagers and my good self but I do love the busyness of it all.
I try to keep cooking light and simple over our Summer holiday, especially avoiding baking in a hot kitchen. 
This is an easy dish of Madagascar beans with spinach, garlic and chilli.

 The garden is flourishing, as are our Madagascar beans.
 I bought this plant from an online nursery not knowing how well  it would grow. 
It came as a 40cm high thin vine wrapped around an equally thin stake.

The Madagascar bean is at the front, there is definitely one central plant,
 but there would be more vines as it continually self seeds and grows.   
We planted it next to a 6 metre wooden stake, giving it room to grow.

The pods are plentiful, yielding one or two seeds each.  They are similar to a lima bean.

The seeds are also similar to borlotti beans with their maroon tinge of colour.

                                                                      To cook this Madagascar bean dish, soak the
beans in water for about 8 hours.
Then drain them and add fresh water then cook for approximately 45 minutes, until just soft.

Pour off the water and leave them to drain.

Wash and shred spinach leaves and chop garlic cloves.

Heat a little olive oil in a hot frying pan, add garlic then cook for 30 seconds.

Then add the spinach leaves and toss for 2 minutes, until the spinach is wilted.

Put the drained Madagascar beans in and toss for a futher 2 minutes, until heated through.

I added chopped fresh chilli for garnish but you can easily cook the chilli with the garlic, if preferred.

This gorgeous dish, created from our own bean bush,
when I cooked it the household was impatient that
it took longer to serve as I stopped to take photographs.


Madagascar Beans with Spinach and Garlic
1.5 cups dried Madagascar beans (You could use borlotti, lima or cannellini beans instead)
Water to cover
3 spinach leaves, washed and shredded
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 red chilli, seeds removed and chopped, for garnish

Soak the beans overnight in cold water,  then rinse and add fresh water.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes, until soft.  Drain and reserve.
Heat a medium frying pan to medium-hot.  Add olive oil and cook garlic for 30 seconds.
Add spinach, tossing or stirring for 2 minutes.
Pour in beans and toss for another 2 minutes, until heated through.
Serve, with chopped chilli for garnish.

A great side dish for 6 people.
Or double this amount to serve with extra olive oil and crusty bread with a green side salad as the main meal.

How do you serve your side dish of beans?
Buon appetito!  Enjoy, cheers Merryn

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