Last week, I went on an interesting date. The guy, who’s been through culinary school in France, came over to cook me dinner in my kitchen. The interesting part: He asked me to pick up an array of ingredients and then stand aside while he improvised a meal around them (much more on this soon). The fallout from this guest appearance was a small kitchen covered in dirty dishes that would take days to tackle and a refrigerator full of random excess ingredients, namely vegetables, that had fallen to the wayside in favor of French simplicity.
This hash was the concoction I made the following night with those unused veggies. I ate it alone while watching Top Chef Masters and reflecting on the meal, and on my strange, quick-fire challenge first date.
The combination of different vegetables and textures worked surprisingly well together, though perhaps, this was not so surprising, as it was the dish I had envisioned for my chef all along. Had he simply caved to the culinary pressures of the smirking blonde seated in the corner, judging him all the while, this lemon-mint hash might have had a perfectly cooked piece of lamb to go with.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Mediterranean Vegetable Hash
Makes 2-4 servings
½ lb yellow potatoes, diced ¼ inch thick
1 shallot, sliced
½ lb zucchini (2 small-medium), quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup peas, defrosted if frozen
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
Coat a large skillet with olive oil and set it over a medium-high flame. Saute the potatoes, stirring occasionally so they are able to properly brown. Once the potatoes are beginning to become brown and tender, add the shallot. Continue to sauté until the potatoes are golden brown and cooked though, and the shallot has completely caramelized. Remove the potatoes to a bowl and cover with foil.
Sauté the zucchini, adding a little additional oil if the pieces are sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the zucchini is brown and almost cooked through, add the tomatoes and continue to sauté until slightly browned.
Return the potatoes to the pan along with the peas. Cook mixture until the potatoes and peas are piping hot and cooked through.
Off the heat, add the lemon juice and mint and toss to combine. Serve alongside a grilled piece of lamb, or as is for a satisfying weeknight meal for one.