Deciding what the next recipe on the blog is easy – I eat something somewhere, am blown away by it, beg for the recipe, receive it and make it my own. Or, as is more often the case, I see a drool-worthy photograph somewhere, read the corresponding recipe, can’t stop dreaming about it and decide to make it, only to find I don’t have all the ingredients, giving rise to ‘my’ version of the recipe. The easiest part is of course, writing the ‘WHAT YOU NEED’ and ‘WHAT YOU DO’ sections. ‘MY NOTES’ is also fairly manageable – I don’t have to be witty or creative, just honest. The pictures are trickier. But with a reasonably good DSLR, good light and some patience (mostly on the part of the people waiting to eat while I click away), I can take passable photographs that won’t make me cringe. The most difficult part I always find, is writing about the recipe, personalizing it, making it interesting for the readers. (To be honest, even that is not the worst of it – the real agony is in obsessing over the blog statistics, but that’s after the fact, so we’ll leave that be.)
Only very rarely does inspiration strike. More often than not, I have everything else ready, but can’t write a single word. I sit and stare at the screen but it’s as if my brain is in stasis, unable to produce a couple of half decent paragraphs. I posted the Pecan Crusted Fish a few days ago, which was served with these roasted baby potatoes and green beans. I have been meaning to share this recipe for almost a fortnight now but I was literally at a loss about what to write about it. I mean, one can hardly wax eloquent about this lowly and humble side dish. Its such common food here in North America. Can’t think of what to serve with your chicken or steak or fish? Beans and Potatoes – the most unimaginative side dish ever.
Or is it?
Now that I think of it, it might be common, but there’s hardly any need to make it boring by just boiling the potatoes and beans and dumping them on a plate. I keep roasting all sorts of veggies, so why not these? And to add a little zing, I made my own vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice and some garlic. Zesty!
Prep Time : 1 hour
Serves : 4
WHAT YOU NEED:
16 Baby Potatoes
400 gms Green Beans / French Beans
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Lemon’s juice
1 tbsp minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
WHAT YOU DO:
- Soak the potatoes in water and scrub them with a brush to remove all dirt. Slice each in half. Wash the beans thoroughly and lay on a dish cloth to dry. I like to cut the beans in half too because that makes it easier to fork them in, but that’s just me.
- Dump the potatoes in a pot of water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking tray with parchment or aluminium foil.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice , minced garlic and salt.
- Put the potatoes in the lemony olive mix and toss around a bit to coat well. Use tongs to place the potatoes on the lined baking tray.
- Next, toss the green beans in the vinaigrette and put them on the baking tray too. Sprinkle a generous amount of ground black pepper on top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 mins till the vegetables are fork-tender. Mix them up midway through the cooking to ensure even heat distribution.
Remember, its a very non-precise, adaptable recipe. Want more beans? Put more beans. Want more lemon, put more lemon. You get the picture.