Wednesday, September 06, 2006

(for one)

One good (or bad) thing about working from home is having the time and space to whip up something interesting for lunch.

The River cafe recipes are always more amazing than they sound on paper. Beans, spinach and white wine - what's great about that? Try it and see.

You will need some prepared tomato sauce: I sometimes have a batch in the freezer (handy for pizzas), made by stewing tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for up to an hour until dark red and mushy. The River Cafe's tomato sauce is much the same - made with tinned tomatoes, plus chopped onion - but in the absence of either, a jar of Italian tomato sauce will do fine. Make sure it's a concentrated one, with lots of tomato.

Cooked chickpeas or butter beans: about half a tin's worth (about 40g dry)
Swiss chard or spinach: 100g
Onion: a quarter
Carrot: a small one
Olive oil: 1tbsp
Tomato sauce: 0.5tbsp
White wine: 2floz
Pinch salt, pinch pepper, pinch dried chilli flakes (crushed together)

Warm the oil and soften the onion and carrot until both are tender (not brown). Add the seasonings and the white wine and reduce until almost all gone. Add the tomato sauce, the beans and the spinach or chard, cover, and simmer gently until the spinach/chard is cooked.

Cool slightly before serving (this is also scrumptious scooped cold from the fridge!) on toast, or with focaccia.