Declutter Your Cooking with Simple Food
Posted July 31, 2008on:
Isn’t simple food delicious? Things like pasta with butter and cheese, baked potatoes, roast chicken. . .not “gourmet” or fancy, just good to eat. A few years ago, a well-known local chef put a wedge of iceberg lettuce, served with homemade bleu cheese dressing on his menu – no fancy greens! – and mmmm, so good!
For dinner last night I made a pan of simple vegetables, the kind of dish my British immigrant grandmother used to make. A regular side dish in her home was boiled carrots – scrubbed, not peeled, that would be wasteful – dressed with melted butter, salt and pepper.
Last night, when I took that first bite of sweet carrot and silky butter, I was transported back to Grandma’s kitchen table, where simple, humble food was served – and none of us had heard of balsamic vinegar or sun-dried tomatoes!
Don’t get me wrong; I love balsamic and lots of other specialty ingredients, but that taste of carrot was pure nostalgia – for both the food itself and for simpler times.
If you’d like to try to make the dish, here’s how I do it: Fill a 12″ straight-sided sauce pan (you could use a Dutch Oven or stockpot too) with about 1-1/2″ of water and bring to a boil. Toss in 12oz. mixed green and yellow beans (I get these at Trader Joe’s), and a couple of handfuls of baby carrots (or trimmed carrots). Cook for THREE minutes (on high heat); turn off burner and drain immediately. Return pan to burner (I have an electric oven so the burner stays hot for a while); add 1T (or more, we try to go low-fat) of butter to the pan, and swirl around until melted. You may have to take the pan off the heat if the butter gets too hot, depends on your stove. Add vegetables back into the pan, toss to coat with the butter, season with salt and pepper, toss again and serve.
We ate the entire panful last night, or I’d be munching on leftovers as I write!