Madagascar beans are one of our most productive perennial food plants. The bean pods have been coming thick and fast this spring and their flat creamy beans are a delicious addition to many dishes. Here in the subtropics, these ‘maddies’ are a perfect substitute for cool climate broad beans.
My latest recipe experiment is a simple hummus made with cooked maddies with mint. This hummus works beautifully as part of a meze platter, with spring lamb chops or as a spread on flat bread.
Madagascar beans – about 1.5 cups of fresh, shelled beans
A handful of fresh mint, chopped
Half a clove of garlic, crushed with salt
Olive oil – 1-2 tablespoons
Juice of half a lemon, maybe more
Salt and pepper
Lightly boil the beans in unsalted water for about 15 minutes until soft. Drain and allow to cool before adding them to a food processor along with the mint, garlic, oil and lemon. Process to a smooth texture and season with salt and pepper and additional lemon to taste. Store in refrigerator and use within a few days.
Mock-amole: These pale green beans make a pretty tasty guacomole substitute if avocados are unavailable (or too expensive). Use the cooked, pureed beans in place of the avocado, combined with chilli, chopped coriander and green onions, salt and pepper. Add a little oil to improve the texture.