I had my friend Margo over for dinner tonight and I experimented with this recipe from the LA Times Food pages: Braised Romano Beans with Pancetta and Cherry Tomatoes. Except, in my usual fashion, I messed with it a little. I don’t have a ton of tomatoes right now (and the Whippersnapper Cherry isn’t worth growing — it’s has no flavor — it’s like a little tiny grocery store tomato — very disappointing. Unlike Galina, which is a sprawling yellow indeterminate cherry tomato that will take over your whole garden, but which will reward you with fabulous, juicy, tomato-y yellow bundles of mouth-joy). Anyhow, I made this recipe with Romano beans from the garden (mixed with a few scarlet runners and runner canellinis that I didn’t recognize), a couple of big fat gorgeous carrots pulled from the garden mere moments before they went into the pot, and four slices of local bacon from Matt’s Meat’s instead of pancetta.
It was delicous. We’ve become unaccustomed to eating well-cooked vegetables. These beans were not bright green. They were not crunchy. They were, as the recipe promised, unctuous, meaty, delicious. I have a lot of them. I might be eating them in everything for a while — or I’ll be freezing them in small batches. But I have to say — not only were these delicious — but they were so easy — cut everything up and let it cook for the same amount of time it took to roast a chicken.
I also made a little salad of arugula, orange, fennel, and black olive to go with it. Roast chicken, green beans, salad, a little white wine outside under the apple trees, and blessing of all blessings — a little rain even moved through after we finished eating. A perfect evening.