SAGE STEAMED SNAP BEANS WITH BELL PEPPER, RUCOLA AND PINE NUTS WITH A DASH OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR

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On Sunday morning we are leaving for Italy and as usual I’m divided between a need to go home to my own reality (and my own kitchen) and regret. Last year’s events when I had race back to Sweden in order to see my father for a last time before he died has made me a little wary, especially as the nurse has told me that my mother probably wont last long. But then who knows and this is life. And then who said life would be fun all the time, life in itself doesn’t have a positive or negative ‘value’, it just is and we are asking so much from it; meanings beyond sheer procreation, a nice and safe cuddly reality or that it should be easy but life’s just life and I feel more and more how important it is to decide how I want my life to be, inside me. How I deal with it is of enormous importance for my own happiness, acceptance is important. N.b. that I’m speaking of my own life which has been realtively normal, without having to live in war zones and without persecution and torture for my opinions or my eventual beliefs and other factors that can make it especially hard to live and accept.
And now we have to clean the apartment that we rent from an old couple, it’s a nice flat but full of all the things they have collected throughout their lives so you can imagine what a nightmare it will be to dust and clean. And I can’t say that I’m one of those who just does it, no I have been dreading it since we first arrived. Mary Poppins is all I say, I have always wished to have her capacities when it comes to cleaning, why oh why has no one ever given me her umbrella? Or whatever it is she uses.

But enough of this and on with the recipe.

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SAGE STEAMED SNAP BEANS WITH BELL PEPPER, RUCOLA AND PINE NUTS WITH A DASH OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Snap beans
Red bell pepper, as sweet as possible
Rucola/argula/rocket
Pine nuts
Garlic
Fresh chili pepper, optional
Fresh sage
Balsamic vinegar
Salt
Extra virgin olive oil

– Steam the snap beans with a small bunch of sage leaves until soft but not too soft. Take away the sage before moving on. Or keep it if you feel like it.
– Chop the garlic and the chili pepper and braise for a minute or two in some olive oil.
– Meanwhile you cut the bell pepper into sticks the size of the beans and add them to the garlic and chili. Braise for 4-5 minutes.
– Add the snap beans to the peppers and go on braising for 2-3 minutes. Don’t forget to salt it.
– Add the pine nuts and and a handful or two of rucola and sautè for no more than 30 seconds, the rucola should just begin to wilt a bit.
– Splash a little balsamic vinegar over it and serve.

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L