I have recently been reading a book called Cooking for Mr Latte by Amanda Hesser, it is a food critics memoirs, and answers the question what do food critics really eat, as well as telling some amusing stories along the way. At the end of each chapter there is a collection of recipes, some of which sound really interesting. The first one I tried out was her Beans and Tomatoes with Vinaigrette, I teamed it with celeriac mash and merguez sausages baked in a bag with mushrooms and courgettes. Despite my worries about hot and cold on the same plate, and the sauce from the sausages with the vinaigrette it actually went really well together.
There are lots more recipes in the book that I want to try, and as it is set in New York it has given me some ideas of restaurants to try and lovely food shops that I can stare in the windows of, when I am there in February, even if I can't bring any of the food back with me.
Beans and Tomatoes with Vinaigrette (from Cooking for Mr Latte by Amanda Hesser)
1 pound green beans
3 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fill a medium saucepan with water. Season generously with salt. Bring to a rolling boil, and add the beans.
Cook until tender on the edges but still quite crisp, about 4 mins.
Drain and rinse under cold water. Dry on a towel. Cut the beans in half, then combine in a bowl with the tomatoes.
Whisk together the mustard and vinegar then add the olive oil a little at a time until it thickens. Pour the dressing over the beans and tomatoes and toss. Season generously with black pepper and toss again.