Flageolet Beans with Tomato and Fresh Sage
Cook the beans slowly in fresh mashed tomatoes. Simmer until the beans are done and season to taste. Add a bit of olive oil and sage and cook a little while longer. Simple and satisfying in cool weather. I had this with a crunchy baguette and aged sheep's milk cheese, produced locally of course.
Broccoli with Peppers
I like my broccoli with a bite, not raw but with texture and some crunch still intact. I've met enough folks throughout my life who said they hated broccoli as a kid because it was always overcooked and mushy, only to rediscover the beauty of broccoli later in life. If you are a parent, please do not ruin broccoli for your kids by boiling it to death or any other such hideous preparation for this wonderful food. My mom always blanches broccoli before putting it in a stir fry but I'm lazy and sometimes just throw it into the wok. Okay so it takes a bit longer to cook, but it still comes out really good. I seasoned this dish with soy sauce and some sliced chilis and garlic, finished with a touch of toasted sesame oil. I made an arrowroot slurry to thicken the sauce a bit. If I had some sesame seeds, I'd toast 'em and throw them on top.
I can't get enough of my pickles, in case you haven't noticed. These were the most unusual chilis. I first took a bite of the tip and they were sweet, which was disappointing. Then I took another bite, and at first there was a bit of sweetness and then the heat nearly burned my face off. These jalapenos are no joke! It was a shame to see them shrivel up and go to waste so I pickled them in brine and some garlic. Well, that was quite a few weeks ago and when I recently revisited them, they were hot as ever with wonderful flavor but the chilis were very mushy. I have learned my lesson never to make fermented pickles with old veggies. I had to toss away many pickles with veggies I tried to salvage only to learn weeks later that they turned into mush. Well, all is not lost necessarily with these chilis since I have decided to try yet another experiment and turn this jar of pickles into a tasty fermented burn your ass hot sauce. I will report later on the results.