Hoanib ‘Love’ Salad


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Spirit & Spice

By Ghillie Basan

Published 2019

  • About

I wouldn’t rave about the food in Namibia – a lot of German influence and heavily reliant on big chunks of meat – but the shy and giggly cook at Hoanib, a remote tented camp on the Skeleton Coast, produced the best meals we had there. With a smile as big as Africa, she managed to whip up amazingly fresh and tasty dishes using vegetables, herbs and spices, which had to be delivered to camp by bush plane. We ate this pasta salad as part of a picnic lunch on the beach, with the waves gently licking our feet – which may have influenced our overall appreciation of the dish, but it was so outstandingly tasty and fresh, it had to be made with love.


  • 500 g/1 lb 2 oz penne, cooked al dente, drained and refreshed
  • 2–3 yellow and red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 6–8 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 250 g/9 oz small, sweet tomatoes (e.g. cherry, sugar drop, tomalini), cut into quarters
  • a big bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

For the dressing

  • 150 ml/¼ pint olive or rapeseed oil
  • 150 ml/¼ pint white wine vinegar
  • juice of 2–3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 3–4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry spice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the cooked pasta into a large bowl and add the peppers, spring onions, tomatoes and most of the coriander.

In a small bowl, beat together the dressing ingredients and season well. Make sure the dressing is strong and adjust the spice and sweetness according to your taste – Yazzie and I usually add more lemon and Zeki always adds more honey as that’s how he likes it.

Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss really well. Tip the salad into a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining coriander, and enjoy for lunch or supper with grilled meats, fish or other vegetarian dishes, or simply on its own.