I AM BAAACK. Three weeks of sleeping in odd beds and getting more and more sun burned sadly have ended and now I'm back in my parents' house with absolutely no idea on how to fill my time. It's not like I don't have things to do - the list is pretty long - but I can't really figure out where to start. I cooked for the first time today since the beginning of July (chopping a cup of tomatoes doesn't really count, does it?) and hmm, it was clumsy. It took me about two hours to bring the dish together. Not that it's difficult. I initially wanted to break the silence with something Italian, because I expected a lot of nostalgia, but my move out of Milan was so sudden and squeezed between two awesome experiences, and the sadness never really came. I will make something else of my culinary memories of those three years. And now I just want to write something to get back into the routine.
Climbing beans and tomatoes are the quintessential summer dish in my family. Or at least that's how I remember it. Normally the potatoes would be plain, but my parents' have this gigantic wild bush of mint in their backyard which reminded me of the tubers served in the restaurant where I worked last year. I ate the whole lot sitting barefoot on the stairs leading to the backyard, sweating and wishing I were eating somewhere else - but the same thing.
Hope you are having a good summer - tell me all about it. And talk soon!
yellow beans, red sauce, green potatoes
500g yellow climbing beans, trimmed
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cups chopped tomatoes, mixed varieties are fine
salt and pepper to taste
300-400g new potatoes, srcubbed clean and halved
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
packed handful of herbs, like mint and parsley
salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan, saute the onion in oil for 10 minutes, add garlic, bay leaves and thyme, cook for 2 more minutes, add the tomatoes and the rest of the seasoning, and cook for 45 minutes, adding water if the sauce becomes too thick and sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, add salt and place on the hob. Bring to the boil, then cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until a knife goes through easily. Drain, transfer back to the pot immediately, and add the olive oil, herbs, lemon juice and salt. Stir quickly so that the hebrs cover the tubers well and wilt gently, then cover to keep warm.
In another pot, bring salted water to the boil and cook the beans until soft, 8-10 minutes. Drain, add to the tomatoes, check for salt.
Serve either hot or at room temperature.