This is the only shot I have of the bean dish we have been having night after night the last two weeks. We are coming to the end of them now, they were so pretty when they were in flower and we got loads of them this year. We’ve put some more in the ground and are crossing our green fingers that they will give us a late crop in a couple of months time.
I was given a copy of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Everyday as a present by my lovely friend Mandy, and on my first gallop through it, I came to a halt when I saw this bean dish. Because I am too lazy to go downstairs and drag the book back up here I will give you the general gist of it. Because that is what it is, a general gist of a recipe, more a technique than anything, which you can vary as you please with what you like.
Catch your beans, or your carrots, or whatever, cook them lightly with steam so they are cooked but not floppy. If you like garlic, splat and finely chop a clove or two. While the beans are cooking, put a mixture of your favourite seeds and spices in a dry frying pan, throw in some flaked almonds maybe, some pumpkin seeds, coriander, fennel, a pinch of chili, sesame seeds if you are Brian. Get those seeds and little packets out of the cupboard. (Oh yes, I heard you Michael McIntyre! Goulash next week….) Heat them up till the almonds start to colour and go brown and the seeds begin to pop a little.
Turn the heat off and then add a Keith Floyd sort of splosh of olive or walnut oil, and the chopped garlic. Give it all a good shuffle in the pan. Don’t turn the heat on again; there will be enough heat in the pan to lightly cook the garlic. Drain the beans, carrots, whatever veg you are using. Put in a serving bowl, sprinkle with flaky Maldon sea salt, black pepper, and tip the sizzling, toasty, and aromatically charged seedy loveliness all over the beans. So good! Serve with couscous or rice or whatever else is on your table. I suspect that kids won’t eat this with their aversion to bits, but that means all the more for you! Now I want some more all over again!
Normal bread service will be resumed soon.