“wow megan, you made green beans. watch out mario batali.”
but i have fallen into a lunch and side dish rut. i make tuna and scrambled eggs 4 days a week for brunch/lunch and then i grab the bag of salad and frozen veggies for a side every night. i am also in a workout rut, well and there are other ruts, dating ruts and routine ruts. so i’m going rut through rut.
and i figured i’d tackle the side dish one first, ease into it a bit. which leads me to, (and i swear this is just serendipitous) in fact, mario batali.
i was at chicago ideas week last year and i was able to see him speak along with stephanie izard. they were talking primarily about menu development and how it’s directly related to their relationships with farmers. and it’s during this talk that i realized, i could worship a man who wears ankle socks with crocs, so long as his name is mario batali.
during the Q&A portion of the interview, someone asked him (i don’t remember exactly) about what to do when you’re in the cooking rut. he said to go to the produce section and look round for a vegetable you don’t recognize. take it home, slice it, combine it with olive oil and sprinkle it with kosher salt and pepper, and roast it. then eat it. if you like it, try a new flavor profile the next time. if you don’t, keep picking unfamiliar vegetables at the supermarket.
because ultimately, it’s a domino effect. choosing one produce will lead to new flavors which will inspire new marriages in your dishes. it can all start with an eggplant. then suddenly, you’re realizing the deepness of eggplant would go perfectly with beef. and then you’re making eggplant and beef lasagna, and your pasta world has just blown wide open.
now, i realize – green beans aren’t even as exciting as an artichoke. but i have been experimenting, and i’ll share some of my discoveries soon. in the meantime, trying new things with my favorites is fun. like this corn recipe or even adding some spice to sweet potatoes can transform a weeknight go-to.
so without further ado, the green bean recipe that will blow your green bean world right open. and that’s a promise.
(i used mushroom infused olive oil with this recipe – if you have an olive oil store near you, i strongly urge you to go in and pick-up a few bottles. they can add fantastic flavor to simple dishes)
- 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- wedge of lemon, juiced
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- in a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and green beans. cook for about 5-7 minutes, until they’re as tender as you like (i like ’em crunchy)
- separately, in another skillet add the garlic and pine nuts. head to medium and let cook until toasty, about 3-5 minutes
- combine the green beans with the pine nuts and garlic. Add about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and lemon, toss to coat.