The everyday made new

Sometimes I get in a food rut; the latest rut consisted of potatoes, green beans, and corn. One night I served baked potatoes, green beans, and corn, and the next night I served fried potatoes (the leftover baked ones with a bit of sausage and cheese), green beans, and corn. I forced myself to stop after two nights—I didn’t think it would be wise to push my luck.

But then in the momentous last issue of Gourmet, I found a recipe for potatoes and green beans stewed in tomatoes. There was no corn, but I could forgive it that (if I wanted to be zealous, I suppose I could add a cup of the yellow kernels; seeing as the three vegetables are the Holy Veggie Trinity around here, it would probably taste divine.)

(Confessional clarification: I’m more likely to use peas as a side vegetable instead of corn, but corn belongs with potatoes and green beans in a way that peas don’t. Peas belong with brown-buttered carrots, macaroni and cheese, and applesauce—what we had for supper last night.)

But for lunch yesterday, we had the new, cooked-together combo of green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes. It’s a homey dish—no bells and whistles at all—the vegetables blending and mushing and wilting into a stew-like mass. But I liked it, and Mr. Handsome liked it. He told me so in his typical round-about, critical fashion by sputtering angrily, “It would be good if it wasn’t so hot and I could actually taste it!”

I served it topped with a fried egg and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (Gourmet suggests using feta, but I didn’t have any). It can also be a side dish, mounded beside something meaty. In any case, it’s a new, uncomplicated way to serve our good old standbys. And for that, we give thanks.

Tomatoey Potatoes and Green Beans
Adapted from the November 2009 issue of Gourmet magazine

3 small to medium potatoes (about one pound), peeled and cut into one inch chunks
2 cups green beans (about 1/2 pound), fresh or frozen, cut into two-inch pieces
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 pint stewed tomatoes, whirled briefly in the blender

Put everything but the tomatoes into a saucepan and cook, covered, on medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring once in a while, until the vegetables start to stick to the bottom of the pan and have softened a bit. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 20 minutes. (If you want the final product to be more soupy, keep the lid on; if you want a thicker, scoopable side dish, keep the lid off so the liquid can evaporate.) When the potatoes are soft, remove about ½ cup of the chunks, put them on a plate, and mash them with a fork. Stir the mashed potatoes back into the pot and taste to correct the seasonings.

Serve the vegetables as a side dish, or for a heartier, one-course meal, top with a fried egg and cheese (feta, blue, Parmesan, etc).

Yield: enough for two to four people, depending on whether or not it’s a main course.

About One Year Ago: Another homeschool tirade—despite what our culture says, I believe teaching and parenting are the same thing.


  • You Can Call Me Jane

    Thank you very much. We'll be making this soon.

    As far as HH's problem. You can always tell him to stick his plate in the freezer (or outside this time of year) for a couple minutes. That's what I do with my 3-year old.

    Oops. Did I just write that?

  • It's me ...Mavis

    Perhaps you should get a post it note and write "Caution… Food is HOT!" and stick it to Mr. Handsome's dinner plate. I mean geeez… if he hasn't figured it out by now I'm not sure he's going too…

    FYI> my husband has the same problem.

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