As far as I can tell, even though Ottolenghi’s one of those chefs who sees the aim of his food interest to be the creation of a Food Empire, the standard of his cafes remains good. Unlike one I could mention, at whose restaurant I did not hold my plate up, pleading ‘more’. (Yes, you’re quick, it was that one….)
We had this:
Green beans and grilled runner beans with sour
cherries, capers and pistachios £9.80
and were enchanted by it. It’s not often, I imagine, that a plate of green beans holds its own like this one did.
I can’t spot the recipe online, my Ottolenghi cookbook is too old for it to appear, and so I’ve tried faking it. I’d like to say ‘replicate’, but I’m afraid take one is definitely fake.
- green beans, washed, topped and tailed
- sour cherries
- olive oil
I heated a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and added the beans, stir fried them briefly, added a couple of splashes of water and fried on high until the water had evaporated. I threw in the rest of the ingredients, thoroughly stirred and took off the heat. I transferred the mixture to a plate, popped it in the fridge to cool down for five minutes.
Conclusion: for take one, the ingredients were: capers in salt, which I washed off as the pistachios I had were also salted, and finely chopped. The pistachios were chopped into about eighths. The sour cherries were from a glass jar, already pitted and weren’t sour, even though that’s what they were called. This meant the dish lacked the piquancy of Ottolenghi’s. The cherries were roughly chopped.
Despite the deficiencies of take one, in terms of recreating the dish we remember, what we ended up with was not bad. Since we still have a big bag of beans and most of a jar of ‘sour’ cherries, we’ll definitely be making it again.