I’ve started ordering a veg box again; we used to have a delivery every fortnight, but I’m the only real vegetable eater, apart from potatoes, carrots and onions which others in the house also eat. When we had a veg box before I just couldn’t consume all of the contents, especially if it was something like kale or spring greens which even I don’t like, or cabbage which I do love but couldn’t get through a whole one! In the end, sadly, we stopped having the delivery – it was a little more expensive anyway, but we wanted to eat organically and ethically but the inadvertent waste of things no-one would eat called a halt. I’d tried making soups, using different recipes, but it was just the generous quantity which overwhelmed me.
We continued to try to buy organic, to avoid plastic, to support local veg growers, and then I had a sudden brilliant idea. I was thinking about what I eat most of in the veg line, and it’s salad, so I went back to the veg box people, and they do a salad box! We had our first delivery last week and I was very pleased – delighted, actually, with the quality, the quantity and the fact that I could add items to my order. Green beans were available, and it’s one vegetable my husband does like, so I ordered a bag.
As I was about to cook some of them I had a sudden memory from a few years ago, of meeting friends in London. Two came from Coventry, two came from London and I came from Somerset, and we wandered around, looking at things, having coffee, catching up with our news, and enjoying each other’s company. We realised it was lunchtime and drifted into a restaurant/café which had buffet service. We picked up plates, went along the counter choosing what we fancied and the amount we wanted, and then the plates were weighed and you paid for the amount of what you had rather than the individual items. If you finished and wanted more, you just went back, helped yourself to more, had it weighed, payed and returned to your table to enjoy it.
It was the most delicious and amazing meal, and there were items I’d never had before, and some I had – but cooked in a very different way, including a salad of green beans. They were the star of the show. I never found the name of the bean dish, nor a recipe, and I think the beans had been dried and then reconstituted, but they were so absolutely delicious. When I was looking at the lovely fresh brilliantly green beans from the veg box I decided I would try to do a version of the beans I’d had in London – even though I was using fresh not dried beans.
It was very simple actually, but I was really pleased with the results and will definitely do it again. I boiled the beans in salty water so they were only just tender – not overcooked. I drained them, and while they were still hot I poured Greek olive oil over them, then lemon juice, then a little more olive oil and let them sit in it to cool. I’d sprinkled them with the spice mix I have in one of the pepper grinders and they were really delicious!! Still crunchy, still beany, but with the olive oil, lemon and spices they were just so good! They are definitely going to be a regular feature when I next have beans!
I don’t have any images of beans, green or otherwise, so I’m sharing a picture of Irish harebells.