The West Coast is a unique place. The coastline – flat, scrubby and harsh – provides a rich bounty of seafood and a stark beauty that is not for everyone. Those who love Plett may not find Paternoster to their liking, but for a storied food writer like Phillippa Cheifitz, the area provides a wonderful escape from city life. It also provides her with some fantastic ingredients to cook with as you will find in her new book focused on West Coast Weekends, Lazy Days Easy Summer Cooking.
While the area’s top notch seafood features strongly in the book, Phillippa also gets produce from local farmers. One example is heerenbone (gentleman’s beans).
“The village of Redelinghuys in the Verlorenvlei area produces heerbone, a prized variety of beans that is not well known today but at one time was exported to Buckingham Palace.” It’s this heirloom West Coast bean that Phillippa turns into a magical mash or salad that pairs perfectly with braaied local lamb chops.
Check out the recipe below. Lazy Days is available from all good bookstores.
Braaied Lamb Chops with Bean Mash or Bean Salad
The village of Redelinghuys in the Verlorenvlei area produces heerbone, a prized variety of bean that is not well known today but at one time was exported to Buckingham Palace. This is the bean that I buy locally.
Allow 2 lamb chops per serving
sea salt and milled pepper
For the bean mash:
500g dried beans, cooked
2 cloves garlic, crushed
sea salt and milled pepper
Oil and season the chops. Braai until nicely browned outside but still rosy-rare inside. In the meantime, roughly blend the hot cooked beans with a hand-held electric stick blender, gradually adding ¼–½ cup olive oil. Stir in the crushed garlic and seasoning to taste. If it seems too thick, thin down with a little boiling water or stock, or more oil.
If you would prefer a bean salad, soak 2 cups dried beans (or chickpeas if you prefer) overnight. Bring to a bubble – no salt added – and boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer until soft. Drain and while the beans are still warm, toss with a dressing of 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/3–½ cup olive oil, 1–2 crushed cloves garlic, sea salt and milled black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a confetti of finely chopped sweet onion, tomato and parsley or shredded basil leaves. Add a fistful of olives and some crumbled feta.
Phillippa Cheifitz is a well-known South African author and food writer. She currently contributes to Woolworths Taste magazine. She has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks. Her most recent cookbook South Africa Eats (Quivertree) received superlative reviews. She also edited and co-authored Woolworths Taste The Cookbook (Quivertree), which has been a great success. Phillippa spends weekdays in Cape Town, weekends in Paternoster, and she visits her family in New York as often as she can.