We went to the Stellenbosch market on the weekend and spotted some fresh waterblommetjies. I’ve always wanted to cook these interesting looking vegetables but have always been a bit intimidated by them! A friend had recently told me about her waterblommetjie bredie success and so I decided it was time for me to give them a try.
I spent Sunday morning googling vegetarian waterblommetjie recipes and could not come up with one! Every single recipe included lamb. I wanted my bredie to be mainly vegetarian so I decided to simply experiment. I added some bacon for flavor but this can easily be omitted to create a totally meat-free bredie.
I was very impressed with my first attempt and thought I’d share it with you today. But bear in mind that I am no Master Chef, so feel free to vary the recipe as you wish. I actually just want to illustrate how simple it is to cook waterblommetjies! For my foreign readers, the name ‘waterblommetjie bredie’ comes from our Afrikaans language and literally means ‘small water flower stew’. Waterblommetjies are commonly known as Cape pondweed and are found in the dams and marshes of the Western Cape of South Africa.
Image credit: Reeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
500g water blommetjies
2 x onions diced
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
sprinkle sea salt
sprinkle ground pepper
4 x potatoes cubed
200g bacon diced
500ml vegetable stock
300g green beans
300ml white wine
handful fresh coriander
* Soak the waterblommetjies in salted water for at least an hour and then rinse
* Heat the coconut oil in a large pot
* Add the diced onions and spices and let them cook on high heat to brown
* Add the bacon and brown slightly
* Add the potatoes and coat in spices
* Add the stock and wine
* Leave to cook on a fairly high heat for about 40 minutes
* When the potatoes begin to soften, add the green beans
* Leave to simmer until the beans are al dente
* In the meanwhile place the waterblommetjies in a small pot with water and bring to the boil, just for 5 minutes
* Add the mushrooms to the main pot
* In the cooking process try not to mix the vegetables too much as they will start to disintegrate and become mushy
* When the mushrooms feel soft, add the waterblommetjies and fresh coriander to the top and just leave them to steam slightly
* Check after about 10 minutes and if all the veggies are soft and tender, your bredie is ready!
I chose to serve the bredie by itself since the dish already contains potatoes and I’m trying to cut down on my carbs. However it would be best served with rice.
All photography: Lana Kenney ©