MTSVANE LOBIOS SALATA
This salad makes a deliciously fresh way to start a meal, but would also work well as a side dish alongside simple grilled meat or fish. The beans are lightly cooked to retain some bite and paired with a fragrant medley of fresh herbs making this the perf
Green bean and red pepper salad
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Serves 4-6 as part of a supra (a Georgian feast of many dishes, similar to a mezze table)
1kg green beans, sliced 5 garlic cloves 150ml vegetable or sunflower oil 3–4 onions, finely chopped 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated 2 long red peppers, finely sliced 1 tbsp tomato purée (paste) 2 tsp demerara (turbinado) sugar 50g fresh parsley, chopped 50g fresh dill, chopped 50g fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped sea salt and hot chilli powder, to taste
Bring a large pan of water to the boil then add the beans. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Using your hands, pick up the beans and squeeze them to remove any excess water. Set aside. Crush the garlic with the back of a knife and then put in a mortar with a pinch of sea salt. Grind with a pestle to a smooth paste and set aside.
Heat the oil in large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, until soft and starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add the grated carrot and continue to cook, stirring, until softened but still retaining some bite. Add the peppers to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, push the vegetables to the side of the pan. Add the tomato purée (paste) and demerara (turbinado) sugar to the centre of the pan and cook, stirring, for around 2 minutes, until thickened. Combine the vegetables in the pan with the tomato purée (paste), then add the beans to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic paste, chilli powder and fresh herbs to the pan and cook for a final 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.