Tuesday, August 23, 2011

South African Green Beans and Peppadew

I recently went looking for Pickapeppa sauce, sort of a Jamaican spicy A-1 sauce. The store didn’t carry it but I discovered they carried a number of South African condiments, including Peri-Peri sauce (a hot sauce made from the African Birdseye pepper and used in the famous Nando’s Peri-Peri chicken) and Peppadew seasoning. I did a little research and found that the Peppadew pepper is a sport discovered in South Africa. The pepper is round and red like a cherry and has a sweet flavor with a slightly hot or piquant bite to it. The Peppadew company grows and bottles these peppers in South Africa under the Peppadew trademark. They try to keep a lock on the market by tightly controlling their growers to make sure seeds do not get out, but there are numerous people on the internet claiming to have seeds for sale. This would be an interesting pepper to grow.

The bottled peppers were not available so I bought a bottle of a dried Peppadew seasoning. The variety I purchased was their Pepper & Cilantro blend, with dried bell pepper, Peppadew, garlic, onion, parsley, lemon zest, and cilantro. The blend also has salt and black pepper so it makes a good seasoning by itself. I have used it on my morning eggs, on tomatoes, chicken salad, grilled fish and chicken breast, wherever I want to add a little different taste. All this got me curious about South African food and I found a recipe I really like, details below.

Peppadew seasoning

South African cuisine is a blend of traditional African and Portuguese. A lot of the food is grilled, like the famous Peri-Peri chicken, which is chicken marinated in Peri-Peri sauce and then flame grilled. The Nando’s chain has restaurants worldwide, including three in the Washington, DC area serving Peri-Peri chicken. The recipe I really liked (particularly because it uses green beans which are plentiful right now), is South African green beans. The recipe can be found on Food.com here.

South African green beans with Peppadew

This dish is served at room temperature and is almost a salad. The beans are cooked and cooled. They are then tossed with minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, sliced sweet onion, and sliced green olives. Rather than the red pepper flakes the recipe calls for, I used a generous amount of the Peppadew seasoning, and the onions are some of my tiny red onion harvest that I’m pretending are shallots. This recipe is easy and fast and it is delicious. If you don’t like green beans you might try them this way.

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