I stopped by the market to pick up my weekly dose of Peewee-sized eggs from the Captain, and noticed for the first time that he also sells bags of dried beans. I lifted a sack of the hefty Cannellinis, and an old man the next stall over leaned over and said to me, “Don’t get those, get these,” and pointed to a bag of diminutive, wrinkled white beans. “These are the ones we eat everyday. These are the beans you need.” So I bought them instead, and stewed them with a big pot of dinosaur kale, shallots, butter and harissa. He was right, they were better. Tiny and tender, just the enough pop of bean-ness.
And yay, this new baseball jacket (that I bought from Suzanne!) has happily planted itself into my wardrobe. It feels so much nicer to inherit clothing from women I actually know, not just faceless sellers from eBay or thrift stores. I like wearing this jacket and knowing that it has this history, that it came from someone truly rad. Thank you Suzanne!
[First time: separate but equal]
[Second time: mixed up and happier]
ON LEFTOVERS. I often feel foolish cooking so much for only one person but the truth is, I love leftovers. I love eating the same meal that made me feel good and then eating it again and feeling good again. Certain pleasures. I’m more of a creature of habit than I like to admit.
This meal was particularly easy and thus feels silly to write about but it was also the kind of blending of harmonious ingredients that makes my heart sing and dance. The combination of cannellini beans / fresh kale / lemon zest / minced garlic / sweet onions / red pepper flakes / any kind of pasta is super classic and comforting.
I soaked some beautiful white beans overnight and simmered them all morning with lemon zest, garlic, chicken stock, olive oil and white wine, and then folded the beans into a pot of cooked penne. Also crucial: mash 1/2 cup of beans into a paste with 1/4 cup starchy pasta water to create luscious, rich sauce that feels outrageous, but isn’t, not at all. I fried kale in another pan at high heat with lemon and garlic until the whole mess collapsed and was tinged with char. The first time, I ate the kale and beans separately. The next day, I mixed it all together, and it was better. Perfect simplicity. [Note: the second day I cooked another handful of pasta because day-old bloated pasta is the worst.]
Some assorted lunches — I think I’ve been getting less and less ambitious with my cooking. I need to step it up a notch! That’s not to say these aren’t delicious meals… they just seem to be getting more and more simple.
From top: Romaine lettuce with beets and feta; spinach salad with lentils and tumeric-scented rice; skillet potatoes, more cubed beets and white beans wrapped in corn tortillas with lettuce and lime guice. I soaked the beans overnight and stewed them in white wine and balsamic vinegar and one whole onion, and they were tart and firm and perfect..