Potatoes with green beans, olives and basil

vegetarian, veggies, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, recipe

One of the first recipes I tried from my favourite cookbook, River Cottage Veg Everyday, has since become my favourite dish. My copy automatically falls open at page 222 – though I really should know the recipe off by heart because of how often I make it!

This vegetable recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is very easy to prepare (my kind of meal, like this boerewors roll or this twist on a salad). It also looks classy – bonus! I’ve made it a couple of times for  friends, and it was a huge hit at Joshua’s birthday braai with the family. It can serve as a main dish or replace the traditional potato salad at the next braai.

Potatoes with green beans, olives and basil

Prep. time: 15 min // Cook time: 15 min // Serves: 2-3 (depending if it a side or a main)


500 g new potatoes, cut into smaller pieces
200 g French beans (or other green beans), trimmed and cut into 3-4 cm lengths
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly slivered
50 g black olives, roughly chopped
A generous handful of basil, shredded
A good squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
Salt and pepper

Bring the potatoes to a boil in a saucepan in salt water, and then simmer for about 8 minutes until tender. Add the beans for the last 2 or 3 minutes. Drain well and return to the hot pan.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over low heat, adding the garlic to cook very gently, without it changing colour. Add the chopped olives and cook for a minute longer. Remove from the heat.

Combine the oil, garlic and olives with the potatoes and beans. Add the basil and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Finish with salt and pepper. Toss together and serve warm.

vegetarian, veggies, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, recipe


  • I have used different kinds of potatoes for this recipe. I just make sure to cube them.
  • Instead of using fresh basil, I add basil pesto. Yum!
  • Don’t skimp on the lemon juice. It really brings all the flavours together.
  • I sometimes add feta cheese for an extra boost of flavour. Parmesan or hard goat’s cheese will work well too.

Do you have any veggie recipes you can recommend? Tobi and I are trying to broaden our horizons…


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