Getting There

March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Normality is within grasp. It’s the fourth day since our visitors left (this being of note since we had visitors for 21 of the 28 days of February). And, newsflash: I can just about imagine wanting to cook properly again! This can only be good for Cakesnail, sadly neglected in these past weeks of dining out or relying on old favourites. While I get back up to speed in the kitchen and in life more generally (tax season! argh!), let me leave you with a quick adaptation of an Ottolenghi recipe that I ate three days in a row last week in a quest for quick and tasty home-made food that: a) didn’t involve trips to the grocery store, b) was warm and filling and c) also light enough to start to counteract some of the damage that three weeks solid of eating out has wrought on the appetite. Set it to one side for when you next hit your health nadir. Or just eat it because it’s darned tasty. I’ll be back to you with something not involving kale soon…

Bean and Carrot Saute
Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Yields two servings

The original version of this recipe pairs swiss chard and carrots with chickpeas. Through a combination of thrift and laziness I made versions with cannellini beans and spinach and carrot on one occasion, and kale and carrot on another. The first time I added a yoghurt topping; other times I ate it plain. Feel free to play around with the template. If you want to use the original suggestion of swiss chard, you’ll need to blanch it first but other greens like kale, spinach and arugula can go straight into the pan. It’s also worth noting that you can easily scale this back to a version for one which is exactly how I cooked it on a couple of occasions – just save the other half of the beans for the next day or for another dish.

2 tbsp olive oil
6 small carrots (or 3-4 regular ones), diced
1 tsp caraway seeds
300g kale leaves, shredded, or a similar amount of spinach (or arugula)
one 400g can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or cannellini beans
one clove of garlic, minced
one lemon
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaf, chopped
1 tbsp mint, chopped
salt and pepper

to garnish:
Greek yoghurt
sumac (optional)
black pepper

Heat the oil over a medium flame in a medium to large saute pan or Dutch oven and add the caraway seeds and diced carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the carrots begin to soften and take on a bit of colour from the pan. Add the greens. If you are using a hardier green like kale, saute for a couple more minutes before adding the beans. If you are using a more delicate green like spinach or arugula, add the beans at the same time. Once the beans are added, saute for 2-3 minutes more.

Turn the heat down to low and add the garlic, lemon juice, cilantro and mint, a good pinch of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper. Toss gently to combine and remove from the heat. Leave to one side for a minute or two to cool slightly. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Spoon out into bowls and, if you like, top with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of black pepper and sumac.

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