Sunday, March 9, 2008

Tonight's dinner

More variations on the same simple food, tonight my roommate and I ate in.

I started heating the oven 400°F, and set in some medium-sized red potatoes — we don't have any good large baking potatoes. The potatoes baked perhaps 30 minutes? You want to go long enough so that they slightly deflate when pierced by a fork; if you're working at the table next to the oven, you might hear them when they're ready.

I had soaked and boiled kidney beans a few days ago. I drained what was left (most of a pot) in a colander, and rinsed them in running water. You see, what makes beans make you gassy is the starches and sugars, much of which comes out when you boil them; draining and rinsing helps prevent bean music.

In a medium saucepan, I heated some olive oil. Meanwhile, I washed and diced a leek and a large stalk of green garlic, saving the bulbs and tips and outermost layer for soup. These I sauteed in the hot oil until aromatic and just starting to brown, along with a healthy handful of cumin seed and a good amount of salt. Then I added the beans, stirred a few times, and covered. As beans heated, I turned the pot to medium, and eventually to low; the beans keep their heat well, and the alliums continue to caramelize.

My salad included very tasty iceberg lettuce from last week's veggie box, and the same dressing I've been using: olive oil, lemon juice, red wine, and salt. When handling lettuces, be gentle: they bruise easily, so use the sharpest knife you have.

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