It’s the last month of Summer in Australia and as someone who loves to eat seasonally, I (literally) push to grab the last of the crisp green beans and shiny zucchinis at the farmers market.
I really get a buzz out of selecting what I deem the best vegetables from what’s available. I think it’s got something to do with having mini-obsessions with cleanliness and perfectionism.
Note: if you see me at the market, run! I’m obviously slightly nutty. :)
I really love greens simply steamed or quickly stir fried with lots of black pepper and drizzled with grassy olive oil or nutty sesame oil. Although this recipe is for those who like to eat their greens with a sauce.
Tomato sauce made from scratch with perfectly ripe tomatoes is truly a thing of beauty. I love the way it coats and cuddles the greens in a very sexy way in this dish. Please excuse the steamy description, but it is Valentine’s Day today!
serves 4-6 as a side dish
6 very ripe medium-sized tomatoes (I used Roma/Plum)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
2-3 medium-sized zucchini, sliced into matchsticks
300g green beans, topped and tailed
200g baby spinach leaves
1. Cut a shallow cross into the base of each tomato and place in a large bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the tomatoes. Leave for 2 minutes then drain, refresh under cold running water and peel the tomatoes. Roughly chop and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to brown at the edges (5 mins), then add the garlic and cook until fragrant (1 min). Tip in the chopped tomatoes and slightly mash them with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes a bit dry (2 mins) then add one cup of water and scrape any bits that have got stuck. Bring to the boil.
3. Turn the heat down to low, add the tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer until thick and pulpy (15 mins).
4. Steam or boil the zucchini and beans until tender (5 mins) then toss with the baby spinach leaves to slightly wilt them. Spoon some of the sauce onto a serving platter, top with the greens and then spoon over the rest of the sauce and serve. You can also toss the greens with the sauce if you prefer.