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Full of beans (recipe)

Today’s harvest was beans: a fine haul of green beans and some young pods of Lablab purpureus (dolichos/hyacinth bean). While I am allowing most of these lovely, vibrant purple pods to dry for the winter pantry and for seed sales*, I did bring in a few young pods today, thinking of a stir fry.

However, when I saw how many green beans were ready, I changed the menu and made a green bean salad for today’s main meal. Spoiler alert: lablab pods turn muddy green when cooked.

I’ve been asked for recipes when I post about food, so this is how I ad-libbed lunch. It’s a loose guide. As it is said in Mexico: no hay reglas fijas.


Fresh green beans were lightly steamed, allowed to cool, then chopped (by hand)

A couple of tablespoons of hemp nuts and about a third of a cup of chopped (in food processor) walnuts add protein and fats.


Fresh chopped, cut or torn herbs add flavour: today I selected garlic chives, sweet basil and mint from the living pantry outback.


A little olive oil and fresh squeezed juice of lemon binds it all together with a citrus sparkle.


For an added dash of something mysteriously extra, just before eating, I sprinkled the bowl with my own za’atar blend of sesame seed, sumac, dried thyme, and dried marjoram - though it could be oregano. I’ve lost the identity plot with these two in the garden.


Instead of za’atar one could sprinkle with a nice artisanal salt. I didn’t use salt because the fresh herbs, lemon juice and za’atar combination gave a lot of zing on the tongue.


*I can sell Lablab purpureus seed at my farmers market stall, without the USDA seed seller testing and licensing certification required for food crops, because it is regarded as an ornamental in the USA. This in spite of the fact that this vigorous climber, prolific producer, African native is an important food crop in many parts of the (mainly tropical) world especially on two continents dear to my heart: Africa and India/Asia.

The fuzzy, buzzy bumble bees do love the showy purple flowers so it fits right in with the Bee Centered pollinator attractor seed collection which I offer in original handcarved, block printed seed packets.

This week saw me printing another fifty seed packets as the garden offers up a new season of seeds to store and share.

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