Yesterday was a milestone for me. I sent off the first draft of a dissertation chapter, and although this is just the very beginning of a long project, the relief of having something cohesive on paper is a thrill. As I left the Warburg Institute library for the last time yesterday afternoon, I actually felt the urge to wave goodbye to some fellow art-historians sitting and typing at their carrels, undoubtedly busy crafting close visual analyses of artifacts. And so I did, even though we had never spoken, and probably never will.
I’ve been too busy to cook anything elaborate this week but I have been making some easy and delicious dinners with the produce that looks good at my local supermarket. Lately, there’s been an offer on what Waitrose calls “capitano beans,” basically a yellow wax bean. These are long and flat, and can be eaten whole. Wax beans are also a late-summer vegetable so now’s the best time to find them.
Parsleyed Wax Beans
Ingredients (as a side-dish for two)
1/2 pound (250 g) yellow wax beans
10-12 leafy stems of parsley
1 tbs high-quality butter
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the beans and remove any stems. Boil the beans in salty water until soft- about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the leaves from the parsley and toss the stems. Chop the leaves very finely. Mince the garlic and put this in a bowl with the parsley.
When the beans are done, strain them and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Heat butter in a frying pan (be careful not to burn it) and sauté the beans for a couple of minutes over medium heat until they are coated in butter and very slightly browned. Then add the garlic and parsley, turn the heat down and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes until the parsley and garlic become fragrant. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper, stir and serve immediately.
I had this alongside kale with a bit of crushed red chili in vinegar mixed in (this is becoming one of my new favorite ways to eat kale), and it made a great dinner.