There are nights when you want to think a little more about what you’re cooking for dinner, and nights when you want to think a little less.
This is for the latter. It’s a scrounging-around-for-something-good recipe, and it truly delivers, because the simple combination of ingredients includes a nice variety of textures and flavors. You skillet-cook the lot: black beans and baby spinach leaves, broccoli and cherry tomatoes. On top goes an avocado-and-lime mash, followed by a sprinkling of my favorite spice blend, za’atar (although you can skip that if it’s a dealbreaker). The dish is so close to things I make fairly regularly and have never written down that when I saw it in a cookbook, I blinked, the way you do when you see an old friend in an unexpected place.
I changed just two things, both of them having to do with the avocado. First, I doubled it, because, well, I wanted more of that creaminess in every bite. Second, they instruct you to form it, dipping two spoons into hot water and passing a scoop of the mixture between them, “turning and smoothing each side until a neat quenelle is formed.”
Nah. Not with a recipe that’s otherwise so unfussy. I didn’t give it a second thought. After I mashed, I dolloped.
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2 to 4 servings
Adapted from “Green Kitchen at Home,” by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, 2017).
½ head broccoli (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
10 cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
About 3½ ounces (2 cups) baby spinach leaves
One 14-ounce can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
Flesh of 2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon za’atar, for serving (see NOTE)
Cut the broccoli into small florets then peel and thinly slice the stalk.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it softens, 5 minutes.
Add the broccoli florets and stalk pieces; cook, stirring occasionally, until those pieces turn a brighter shade of green and lose their crunch yet still have some bite, 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, spinach and beans; cook, stirring, until the spinach has barely wilted, 1 minute. Season with the salt and pepper; taste, and then add more salt and/or pepper as needed. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Mash the avocados in a bowl with a fork until smooth, then stir in the lime juice.
Serve the black beans and greens in bowls or deep plates, topped with dollops of avocado and a sprinkling of za’atar, if using.
NOTE: If you can’t find za’atar, a Middle Eastern blend that is available in the spice aisle of better-stocked supermarkets, either leave it out or substitute a squeeze of lime, some toasted sesame seeds, and pinches of dried thyme and cumin.
Nutrition | Per serving (based on 4): 310 calories, 10 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 12 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar
Recipe tested by Joe Yonan; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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