In the same way that there's something fundamentally joyous about a cake, there's something fundamentally sad about a salad. No matter how bright or colourful or expensive or superfood-y... Well, it's just not cake, is it? But, alas, we cannot be eating cake all the time, and must make a token stab at health every once in a while. This is my token stab - and actually, I really like it. I'm firmly of the opinion that even the most unappetizing of meals can be improved by the addition of garlic, cheese, or butter (hence why garlic bread is the least fundamentally sad food of them all), and it's the addition of garlic here which makes this lunch time meal a happy one.
This recipe is so, so simple, to the extent where I feel fraudulent even calling it a recipe. And in fact, I wasn't ever going to include it on this website, but I've made it so many times in my own hobbit kitchen now that I thought it was about time it appeared on the hobbit kitchen. The ingredients shouldn't cost you any more than three pounds, it takes about 10 minutes, and is so jam packed full of goodness that you can feel totally justified in eating an entire cake to yourself. But of course, you should feel totally justified in eating that anyway, because cake is fantastic. Have we not covered how much I like cake so far? I'm getting distracted. Back to salad.
This salad is not a fundamentally sad one. It's warm, so perfect for these colder months; it's garlicky, so it naturally feels like comfort food; and, most importantly, it actually tastes nice. Second helpings for all!
This recipe makes enough for one large lunch, 2 small lunches, or 2/3 sides. What?! I don't know how much you eat!
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 2 cloves of garlic.
- 3 large handfuls of green beans, roughly 250g.
- 2 large handfuls of cherry tomatoes, roughly 100g.
- 4-5 large handfuls of kale. Feel free to replace with spinach if you'd prefer.
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Obviously, these measurements are vague & imprecise because you should just go with however much of everything you'd like - the technique (if I may dare to call it that) will remain the same.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
2. Peel & roughly chop the garlic. Add to the pan with the heat, and stir frequently, cooking for about 2 minutes.
3. Roughly tear up the kale with your hands and throw it into the pan, stirring continuously as it wilts down. This should take about 5 minutes - at this point, remove from the heat and leave to soak up all the garlicky goodness.
4. Chop the ends off your green beans & put them into a separate pan. Cover with water and, on a high heat, bring to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they still have a little bit of crunch remaining.
5. Chop your cherry tomatoes in half.
6. Put the kale mixture back onto a low heat & add the cherry tomatoes, stirring frequently.
7. Drain the green beans, and add them to the kale/tomato/garlic mix. Stir the whole thing through for about 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes are warm and are beginning to break down a little.
8. Pour in a tablespoon of lemon juice, and season with sea salt & cracked black pepper. Adjust these measurements to taste.
9. Give it all a stir through, and serve immediately.
As I said; simple, tasty, nourishing, and the leftovers'll keep until the next day as well. Whilst it works great on its own, feel free to add cous cous or quinoa to make it a little heartier, or it would be the perfect side accompaniment to something beefy - like burgers or steak.
We all have these lazy recipes we turn to which seem to obvious to us, but which might not be obvious to everyone else. What's yours?