Here’s another basic, simple meal to make in a basic, simple kitchen. Broiled cod dusted with some herbs de provence, and dressed with lemon and raw olive oil. This follows the theme of last night’s meal in the city: broiled seafood because it broils quickly and the amount of smoke it produces is minimal (much less than broiling a piece of meat).
On the side–white beans and butternut squash (one dish), and sauteed broccolini.
Beans with butternut squash is a wonderful sweet and earthy combination, which needs little other than salt, olive oil and black pepper. You could use canned beans, but I’m using fresh. Since I didn’t soak them overnight, I’m doing a quick-soak by placing them in water, bringing them to a boil, shutting the flame, and letting them rest in the water for an hour. Drain, add fresh water and simmer gently for about 45 minutes–then you have something similar to canned beans (only with much more bite and texture).
The butternut squash is cut into small cubes and sauteed in oil for about 10 minutes, covered, then simply tossed with the cooked, drained beans, and dressed with raw oil, salt and pepper. Save a bit of the bean cooking liquid to add to the dish to make it creamy.
There is an age-old debate about whether to salt beans when you cook them (older Italians will say that adding salt to the cooking liquid prevents the beans from ever softening). In her latest book, however, Marcella Hazan reveals that she’s come to the conclusion that it’s an old-wives’ tale. That’s good enough for me–I now salt my bean cooking water right at the outset–it makes for much tastier beans.
Even when I’m in the city, I still look forward to cooking dinner–don’t let a tiny kitchen prevent you from cooking good food!