Caramel-chilli & cannellini

It’s Valentine’s month – and we’re celebrating love and partnerships of all kinds. So what makes a relationship work?  Sometimes it’s not what you think. We’ve all seen them – paired-off people we would never have thought would suit each other,  who seem so different  and yet the relationship works brilliantly.

And when it comes to food, everyone knows about combos that click: salt & pepper, fish and chips, cheese and wine, bacon and eggs. But what about those lesser known food collaborations that are strangely delicious?

Think watermelon feta and black pepper, sweet strawberries and acidic tomatoes, bacon dipped in peanut butter, chocolate-covered tuna, chocolate and avo, blue cheese and pears…

So this month we’ve asked our chef partners to come up with quirky combos.  Kitchen Diva Izelle Hoffmann’s recipe is just plain cheeky!  Caramel Chilli-lime Cannellini – seriously?  But oh my!  The combination of tart citrus, hot chilli and sweet honey-caramel drizzled over those earth-mellow soft buttery beans will have your taste-buds popping!

Here you go – a delicious starter for Valentine’s dinner – dare we say it? Love at first bite!



Cannellini Bean Salad with a caramel chilli-lime dressing


Prep time 10min

Cooking time 15min

Servings 4



  • 100g of Baby spinach
  • 100g young asparagus – grilled for 15min on 200’C with olive oil, salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 red chopped pimento pepper or red pepper diced
  • 1 red salad onion
  • 50g almond flakes or sprinkles
  • 1 heaped tsp fresh garlic
  • 2 cans canellini beans washed and drained
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1tsp Caramel essence
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Oryx Desert Black Pepper
  • 3 tbsp raw Honey
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 15g freshly chopped chives



  1. Preheat oven to 200’C
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick spray
  3. Place asparagus on the sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and ground black pepper
  4. Place in oven for about 15min or till cooked to preference
  5. Heat a pan over medium heat
  6. Add a drizzle of olive oil and fry the onion, pimento pepper, almond flakes and garlic till the pepper and onion is cooked and the almonds are toasted
  7. Allow to cool off slightly before adding the beans. Be careful not to stir too much so you preserve the appearance of the beans.
  8. Add the oven grilled asparagus
  9. Mix all the sauce ingredients together and pour over the bean mix
  10. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the beans to cool of properly.
  11. Serve with baby spinach as a base and enjoy as a meal or as a side


Chef Izelle Hoffman – Lifestyle chef