I think there’s a tendency, when you’re cooking for people who don’t eat meat, to feel like you have to ‘replace’ that element of a meal. I don’t agree, obviously I don’t want to lose the protein from my diet but there are plenty of places I can get that from. I really do think that if you make your veggies tasty enough then no-one is going to miss the meat.
These crisp, homegrown green beans (which actually started off purple, if you can believe it) have been sautéed in brown butter with caramelised shallots and garlic and finished off with a few crunchy hazelnuts. I mean, would you really feel like you were missing out?
serves 2 (easily multiplied)
200g fresh green beans
1 tbsp butter
1 fat garlic clove
handful of hazelnuts
Lightly steam your beans until they are just tender. Thinly slice the shallot and the garlic. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat and add the shallot, gently cooking it until it starts to caramelise.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Toss in the beans and season with black pepper. Fry for a few moments more and then scatter in the hazelnuts and serve.