Friday, June 14, 2013


Stomach: A slave that must accept everything tht is given to it, but which avenges wrongs as slyly as does the slave.
- Emile Souvester

When diet is wrong medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct medicine is of no need.
- Ayurvedic Proverb

He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician.
- Chinese Proverb
We only have one life, so we should live it right (or the best we can, at least) and not waste it. Hence it is our responsibility to handle our body with respect and care for our well-being if we want to be happy, grow old and not die prematuraly because of our careless and harmful lifestyle. As a matter of fact, one cannot pretend to look after his/her health or spiritual self if he/she treats his/her organism comparably to a dustbin.

The mortal carcass we occupy is our temple. It is precious and needs to be maintained correctly or else our anima will wither. Once you know that, you realize how wrong it is to separate matter from spirit as a sound soul cannot inhabit an insalubrious ruin or house infested with parasites and rot.

There is no doubt that we are what we eat* and this is why it is crucial to nourish ourselves as heartily as possible. After decades of bad dieting on covenient meal products, fatty, sugary and chemical junk, the Western world is at last/suddenly waking up, becoming more conscious of its hazardous food habits and aware of how wrong it was to have chosen the comfortable path of faineancy, irresponsability and autodestruction rather than that of harmony, reasonability and amour-propre.

But,  being a mindful consumer is not a novelty. As a matter of fact, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine (two of the most ancient established medical practices which are still in use today) have been emphasizing on the importance of keeping a balanced nutrition plan for centuries. Both believe aliments are not just a source of enjoyment, but also an elixir of wellness; everything we swallow has a direct effect on our corporeal, psychological and metaphysical condition.

Therefore, I make it a point of honor to sustain myself correctly, cook with the best produces available as well as to prepare meals which are wholesome and take into account our individual needs. Porking out rarely occurs at my home, but if ever we decide to indulge, we still do it in a thoughtful manner (no big excesses and nothing industrially produced or additive-laden makes it to our table) and exclusively on weekends.

So, when Eva Huwiler at Blofeld Communication GmbH offered me to review a book about stylish vegetarian cooking, I was totally enthralled and could not refuse her generous and enticing proposition as the subject fits my feeding philosophy perfectly!

"Tibits At Home" is named after the tremendously popular, fashionable and relaxed concept self-service buffet Tibits which has been serving hearty and delicious hors d'oeuvres for over a decade and which was initially established in Zurich, near the Opera, in 2000 by three brothers - Christian, Daniel and Reto Frei - and the renown restaurateur Rolf Hiltl, owner of Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world (founded in 1898).

Following the inauguration of their first outlet and thanks to the place's increasing success, four more green gourmet ventures have seen the light of day in the oriental part of Switzerland (in Zurich Seefeld, Winterthur, Bern and Basel) and one extra canteen has been inaugurated in London's West End in October 2008 (read reviews here and there).

All cafeterias revolve around a large smorgasbord featuring more than 40 different homemade salads, hot dishes, daily squeezed juices, a large choice of fine wines and cocktails. A winning formula as, since opening a site in England, their no-fuss, ethical and sustainable approach to meat-free cuisine has become quite the trend-setting cuisine for celebrities and city folks alike.

Tibits' fame is ever growing and, over the years, an increasing number of people have been showing an interest in obtaining the methods for recreating their favorite menus and bites at home. For a long time, they continued to be jealously guarded, however in order to celebrate this bar's 10-year innaugural anniversary and for our greatest pleasure, the Frei siblings and the Hiltl family have finally decided to "lift the lids of their pans and allow us a peek inside".

The cookbook offers 50 tasty, light, fresh, nourishing, international, easy to follow and fun to make recipes for drinks, mains, sides and desserts which are classified according to seasonality, largely vegan (80 %) and suitable for those with nut and gluten allergies. Each of them highlights the purity of quality ingredients and focuses on satisfying our senses.

To top that, the sleek, elegantly contemporary and modish look of this publication is very pleasant and conveys a feeling of zenitude and inner peace to the reader. The dishes are presented in an uncluttered manner (no fuddy-duddy propping here), the layout is voguishly sober and the vibrant pictures - shot in the houses of their loyal customers - whet the appetite.
This isn’t so much a cookbook, more a guide to general well-being and contentment; it’s bringing the tibits concept home, which I for one, love.
- GlamUK 
Adventurous and knowlegeable vegetarian gastronomes might find this hardcover a little unchallenging as a majority of the fares displayed in this bestseller don't employ many unusual ingredients or come out of the beaten track ("Pea Soup With Fresh Mint", "Red Thai Vegetables", "Feta And Cucumber Sandwich", "Mixed Vegetable Antipasto", "Tabouli Middle-Eastern Style", "Vegetable Quiche Mediterranean Style", "Berry Crumble", "Poppy seed Cake", "Coleslaw", "Spinach And Feta Lasagne", etc...), yet I'm pretty sure that this lovely hardcover will enchant the fans of this establishement, beginner home culinarians as well as those who want to grace their cabinets with beautiful gastronomy tomes.

That said,
"Tibits At Home" is an excellent read and nonetheless proposes a swell selection of mouthwatering and innovative chows ("Coconut And Peanut Fritters", "Tomato Soup With Lemongrass And Coconut Milk", "Tofu And Honey Melon Salad", "Goa Curry" and "Spelt Risotto With Mushrooms") which I'm eager to try in the privacy of my kitchen. Going through the book's pages has awaken my desire to travel to Bern in order to visit this wonderful noshery and feast on their colorful and flavorful lunch wagons...

Being part-Swiss (my father originates from Rances) and attached to the culinary customs/heritage of my homeland, I thought that it would be a good idea to showcase one of Tibits recipes which echoes my roots and love for rustic grub: "Dried Green Bean Salad".

Dried green beans are very common in canton of Vaud (not only though - you can also find them in other cantons of Central and Northern Switzerland) and the Vaudois natives traditionally love to serve them with "Saucisson" (or smoked ham/lard) and boiled potatoes. It is one of my all-time favorite trimmings as it reminds me of my grandparents who never failed to serve us this family classic whenever we came over for dinner.

In his garden, my "pépé" cultivated green beans (plus an abundance of other vegetables and of course, lots of fruits) and sun-dried them directly on his rabbit shacks. As you can imagine, they tasted just amazing. Anyway, nowadays if you want to prepare this exquisite speciality, then you'll have no problem buying it from any supermarket across the country.

Until lately, I had always concocted my dried green beans just like my "mémé" did (rehydrated in water, then sautéed in butter with garlic and onion, and left to stew for a short while) and have rarely dined on them in any other way, so testing Tibits' "Dried Green Bean Salad" gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizon and try something completely new.

We were definitely impressed by the refinement and delectability of this magnificent salad. As I expected, the result was mindblowing. My boyfriend P. greedily gobbled his way through his vegetables and I could not stop refilling our plates. The exhalirating aromas of garlic, onion, fresh thyme, roasted walnuts, balsamic vinegar, pistachio oil and of the greens mingled together elegantly, and the different textures (crunchy, chewy and crispy) blended magnificently with each other.

A real delight for the taste buds and a fantastic addition to any picnic, party, barbecue, lunch or brunch! 

* Of course, other factors such as emotions and environment can be at the origin of many diseases too.

Dried Green Bean Salad
Recipe slightly adapted from
 "Tibits At Home".

100g Dried green beans
1 Tbs Sea salt
1 Small onion, finely chopped

2 Tbs Sunflower oil
4 Tbs Pistachio oil
60ml (1/4 Cup) Vegetable stock
1 Clove of garlic, pressed
100g Roasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
4 Tbs Balsamic vinegar

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1. Put the beans in a pot filled with cold water and add the sea salt.
2. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 25 minutes, until tender, but firm.
3. Drain and immediately rinse under cold running water. Set aside (in a colander).
4. In a skillet or frying pan, sauté the onion in the sunflower oil for 2 minutes or until soft and translucid.

5. Deglaze  with the vegetable stock and leave to cool.
6. In a medium bowl, put the beans and add the pistachio oil, garlic, onions, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and thyme. Mix well and leave to marinade for 10 minutes.
7. Serve sprinkled with a little extra thyme.

If you put the beans into cold water for 2 hours before cooking, they will look less wrinkly.
Remember that 100g dried beans = 400g cooked beans.
The pistachio oil can be replaced with rapeseed or olive oil, the vegetable stock with chicken stock (for non-vegetarians) and the thyme with a chopped fresh coriander.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with bread (pumpernickel, rye sourdough, whole wheat, etc...), crackers, roasted potatoes, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, cannellini beans, etc...), seared fish or grilled meat.
If you wish, you can also sprinkle some bacon bits over the salad.

Salade De Haricots Verts Séchés
Recette légèrement adaptée de "Tibits At Home".

100g de Haricots verts séchés
1 CS de Sel de mer
1 Petit oignon, finement haché

2 CS d'Huile de tournesol
6 CS d'Huile de pistache
60ml de Bouillon de légumes
1 Gousse d'ail, pressée
100g Noix de Grenoble, torréfiées et hachées grossièrement
4 CS de Vinaigre balsamique
Quelques tiges de thym frais

1. Mettre les haricots dans une casserole remplie d'eau froide et ajouter le sel.
2. Porter à ébullition et laisser mijoter pendant environ 25 minutes, jusqu'à ce que les haricots soient tendres, mais fermes.
3. Les égoutter et les rincer immédiatement à l'eau froide. Mettre de côté (dans une passoire).
4. Dans une poêle, faire revenir l'oignon dans l'huile de tournesol pendant 2 minutes, jusqu'à ce qu'il soit tendre et translucide.
5. Déglacer avec le bouillon de légumes et laisser refroidir.
6. Dans un bol moyen, mettre les haricots, ajouter l'huile de pistache, l'ail, les oignons, les noix, le vinaigre balsamique et le thym. Bien mélanger et laisser mariner pendant 10 minutes.
7. Parsemer la salade avec un peu de thym et servir.

Si vous mettez les haricots à tremper dans de l'eau froide pendant 2 heures avant la cuisson, ils seront moins ridés/ratatinés.

N'oubliez pas que 100g de haricots secs = 400g de haricots cuits.
L'huile de pistache peut être remplacée par de l'huile de colza ou d'olive, le bouillon de légumes par du bouillon de poule (pour les non végétariens) et le thym par de la coriandre fraîche hachée.

Suggestion d'accompagnement:
Servir avec du pain (de seigle, au levain, de blé entier, etc ..), des craquelins, des pommes de terre rôties, des légumineuses cuites (pois chiches, lentilles, haricots cannellini, etc ..), du poisson cuit à la poêle ou de la viande grillée.

Si cela vous dit, vous pouvez aussi saupoudrer le dessus de cette salade avec des confettis de bacon grillé.


  1. molto interessante questa insalata non conoscevo i fagiolini secchi, il libro mi tenta, le tue foto poi sono una più bella dell'altra.
    Fantastica Rosa, mi piace sempre tutto qui da te :)


    ps: Je m'excuse si je l'ai écrit dans ma langue maternelle, il est beaucoup plus facile ;)

  2. I certainly didn't see any dried beans in Vaud! Oh how much I wish i had known you back then Rosa, we would have been great friends and you would have introduced me to a better Switzerland.

    The line "You eat what you are" reminds me of an anime I used to watch called Arjuna. You should check it out if you like anime, you ll understand what i mean then. ;)

    hm I food tidbits... I wish I could get this book now, sounds very interesting!

  3. Never had dried green beans before.. This dish looks delicious and beautiful!! Are those flowers thryme blooms??

    Our Thyme is growing wild in the garden but its never bloomed before!!!

  4. You always have the most insightful quotes (and scrumptious photos!). This dried green bean salad looks delish!

  5. Gorgeous photos, Rosa! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend.

  6. I've never had dried green beans though now I am very curious to try them!

  7. Bonjour ! Je n'avais jamais-jamais entendu parler de haricots verts séchés auparavant ! Merci de nous faire partager. J'essaierai d'en trouver lors de mon prochain séjour vers Genève ! Et merci d'être passée voir mon petit blog ! Tes photos sont vraiment épatantes...

  8. Really thoughtful post. And the book sounds great. I've never had, much less made, dried green beans, but I'm totally intrigued. Definitely something I want to try. Excellent stuff - thanks so much.

  9. Je ne connaissais pas les haricots séchés... Elle m'a l'air délicieuse ta salade...
    Envie d'y plonger ma fourchette de suite...
    Tes photos sont superbes, comme d'habitude, ai-je envie de dire, mais on a vraiment l'impression que l'on peut attraper les noix à travers l'écran...
    Bravo Rosa
    Bises et excellent week-end à too

  10. A very original green bean salad, Rosa.

  11. I was interested when you first showed them:) The salad AND book look good:)
    Love the memories you have.. his garden left a true impression on you..

    I wish it was law that if you ate would not need medicine and vice versa..
    Along my travels I have met so many heath conscious people..that ..well.. ended up needing medicine:(

    And others live the life of Riley(I think that is an expression? ) and live to be old w/out medicine..

  12. I so want to try these beans now!! Can you dry beans or do you buy them as is?

  13. Very intrigued by dried green beans! Yums!

  14. Bravo pour les photos, le plat et.... le proverbe Ayurvedic que je trouve totalement vrai.

  15. I love the wood panel Rosa, so rustic!
    Great pictures!

    Have a good weekend!


  16. Looks wonderful, Rosa! Admittedly, I've never come across 'dried' green beans, but I love them in any manifestation.

  17. I have never seen dried green beans but the salad sounds good as does the way you normally prepare them.

  18. where did you get these dried beans from? Also, I totally agree with your philosophy - its hard for me to be sustainable and organic all the time, but when I get a chance I try use the best products.

  19. Tasty salad, I love the roasted walnuts and thyme!

  20. Delicious salad! I love the fact that it has roasted walnuts! LOvely clicks! :)

  21. I don't think I've ever seen dried green beans in stores here. I'm going to have to start looking for sure now. ;)

  22. Such an interesting salad! I've never had dried green beans, but I'd love to try this dish...just gorgeous. Sounds like a wonderful book!

  23. rosa what beautiful pictures and tat s a very healthy salad to gorge on!!

  24. Je ne connais pas ces haricots séchés....ça m'a l'air délicieux...les photos sont splendides !
    bises Rosa, bon weekend !

  25. Interessantes Rezept für die meist so unterschätzten Dörrbohnen. Danke.

  26. looks delicious & mouthwatering!

  27. A very interesting post indeed. Dried green beans are new to me and I am now intrigued!

  28. what a fascinating read! this salad could have originated here in the mountains of Lebanon; it resonated with me,; loved the beautiful photography, so sensitive and pure. must be a great place to dine, I will try to remember their name next time I am your neck of the woods.

  29. I've never even seen dried green beans before, let alone eaten them. The cookbook sounds excellent and your photos are, as always, wonderful.

  30. Nous mangeons souvent des haricots séchés. Mais seulement en hiver et "à la Suisse" plutôt. Je n'aurais jamais pensé à en faire une salade. Mais pourquoi pas. J'essayerai quand je n'aurai plus d'haricots frais dans mon jardin.
    Bon week-end.

  31. what a tasty way to handle green beans! this is truly unique, rosa!

  32. I've never heard of dried green beans before. I am going to try drying some this fall ... and then try out that yummy looking salad.

  33. Rosa, a beautifully written post and definitely one to think over. The cookbook and the recipes you mentioned sound so interesting. Never had dried green beans but willing to try this out!

  34. Rosa, never have I heard about dried beans. Very, interesting and good write up!!

  35. Dried beans... Never tried them! Very curious about it. Interesting book, we should all embrace vegetarianism (or at least drastically decrease our meat consumption!).

  36. Tes photos sont toujours empreintes de poésie, je suis fan !

  37. The ancient Greeks said, a healthy mind in a healthy body. They knew better.
    The book looks very interesting.
    I have not even heard about dried green beans, I'm sure that not exist here.
    The salad looks very tasty with walnuts and balsamic vinegar.

  38. A lovely-looking meal. I like the quotes you included, too.

  39. Une découvert les haricots séchés.
    Bien appétissantes photos.

  40. Such a lovely and elegant recipe!

  41. I've been intrigued to see how you cooked the dried green beans since your last photo..and they look gorgeous! Love the review, Rosa.

  42. Mr. & Mrs. P: Thanks! Yes, they are. Mine bloom every year...

  43. ASHA@FSK: Thanks, dear! I buy them already dried, but you can also dry your own green beans...

  44. DIXYA: Thank you! I get mine from the local supermarket... ;-)

  45. Rosa je ne connaissais pas les haricots séchés. Merci Rosa pour cette découverte.

  46. Moi non plus je n'en avais jamais entendu parler. Etonnant et tres local.
    (comment faire une belle photo avec des haricots seches? t'es trop forte!)

  47. Rosa such wonderful pictures with something so humble like dried beans. only u can do such magic with the lens. kudos to ure talent:)

  48. They sound delicious Rosa but I have never come across dried green beans. I am intrigued.

  49. what a treat to end the week with

  50. Wonderful clicks and a great recipe! I have never tried dried beans. Will have a look if I can get them here.
    Hugs, Sandy

  51. non ho mai visto fagiolini secchi e non sapevo nemmeno esistessero, ne hai fatto un piatto molto appetitoso……ora che finalmente è arrivato il caldo magari posso provare a seccarli ^___^ il libro immagino non sia tradotto in italiano….ciao!

  52. Beautifully funky! I've never heard of dried green beans before! You still managed to make them look cool :0

  53. Rosa it is quite obvious that you take good care of your body. I love your recipes because I can always rely on healthy and real foods. What a wonderful cookbook and the dish looks it too. I've never cooked or seen dried green beans. Thanks for sharing!:)

  54. Hello! I love this post! One small note, and please no need to publish, "responsability" should be "responsibility". <3 <3

  55. I've never eaten dried green beans, but I'd love to try them! Now, I'm wondering why drying green beans isn't common where I grew up. My grandmother grew lots of green beans but always froze them.

  56. Rosa this look absolutely amazing Rosa, love it!!!

  57. I love green beans and while I am not vegetarian, I definitely appreciate (and eat a lot of) vegetarian dishes like this one!

  58. I have heard of that restaurant-it's quite famous isn't it! And your beans look so interesting Rosa! :D

  59. That is such a wonderful photo of the walnuts in the tiny old tea cup. Looks like a great way to be creative with green beans.

  60. ANONYMOUS: Thanks! I have corrected it... ;-) Cheers.

  61. As majority here, I haven't heard of dried beans before either, so intriguing.

  62. I have never had dried green beans before. Now you have me wondering if I can dry some just to try this.

  63. I never heard of dried green bean, but can imagine the firm texture...sounds very intriguing and sure I would love to try this salad.
    Thanks for this great and informative post Rosa, have a lovely week :D

  64. I like cookbooks reviews and that make me want to add another one to my collection. Gorgeous pics!

  65. Don't we all need more contentment and well-being? I used to eat much better than I do now and could use some of these beautiful recipes... the book looks lovely and the restaurant sounds marvelous. Dried greenbeans... curious indeed. I will check out this book!

  66. Such an elegant and creative recipe!
    The pictures, as usual, are superb.

  67. I've never used dried green beans but the salad looks absolutely stunning! Would love to try it!

  68. Hi Rosa, I am new to your space and your photographs awe me :-) Loved the recipe you shared, I have never had dried green beans, I am trying to imagine the taste...also you mentioned pistachio oil...another new ingredient for me, but this one I can imagine :-) Cheers, Suchi

  69. Des haricots verts séchés? C'est la première fois que j'en entend parler, mais bon je serai curieux de goûter cette belle salade. Quant à tes photos: toujours aussi magnifiques ;) Bonne soirée :)

  70. Healthy and delicious. Nice pics!

  71. Originale et intéressante cette salade!

  72. tu arrives à sublimer chacun des produits que tu présentes sur tes photos qu'elles soient en couleurs ou en N&B et ton assiette me met l'eau à la bouche avec les noix ;)). Merci Rosa pour cette salade parfaite en été et bonne soirée ;) bisous

  73. Fantastic photos as usual! A few years ago I reviewed Tibits in London and absolutely loved it. I'm sure the recipe book is just grand with lots of interesting ideas.

  74. i'm very intrigues by this recipe, not only is it unique, I bet its tastes amazing !

  75. This is new to me and will look into it. Your pictures are always a pleasure to look and and keep looking at them

  76. So delicious looking. The dried green beans really are quite unique. I have to try that sometime!

  77. Great photos! If you can't find dried green beans will fresh work as well?

  78. THE CULINARY CHASE: Thanks. Yes, but you will not get the same result, though (texture & flavor-wise). Cheers.

  79. I really like the use of the pistachio oil, very nice unique touch.

  80. Dried beans are new to me? Will fresh ones work? Stunning photos as always!

  81. looove the walnut photo, so beautiful!

  82. I have never tried dried green beans before and now I will definitely to hunt for some. A great looking salad!

  83. I've seen dried beans in Migros and was wondering what can you do with this disgustingly looking staff? At least I know now :)

  84. I know this dish from Hiltl and I love it. I just google it and I am incredible happy that you posted the recipe. I am cooking it now. Thank you for sharing it. I am expecting it to be amazing :)