Cooking may be a pleasure, but sometimes it needs to be quick. These are two of my go-to, low-effort meals. The eggs are what I have for dinner if my boyfriend is out, or for breakfast after a night shift at the hospital. The beans need a little more time, but it’s a very hands-off recipe. Both fit the requirement of needing minimal effort but yielding a nourishing meal.
Sesame and za’atar scrambled eggs (pictured above)
I’ve made this a million times and could do it with my eyes closed. I usually have a jar of toasted sesame seeds on standby but, if you want to make this even quicker, skip them entirely or substitute with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil at the end.
Prep 5 min
Cook 5 min
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 large eggs
A dash of milk
A pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for greasing
2 tsp za’atar
1 tsp tahini
Chilli flakes (optional)
Toast, to serve (optional)
Put a small frying pan or skillet on a medium heat, then dry-toast the sesame seeds for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned – keep them moving around the pan to avoid burning – and tip into a small bowl.
Whisk the eggs, milk and salt in a medium bowl. Return the empty pan to a high heat, add a splash of oil, then pour in the egg mix, stirring it around – they cook quickly. Tip out on to a plate, top with a sprinkling of za’atar, then drizzle over the tahini and scatter on the toasted sesame seeds and chilli flakes, if using. Serve with hot buttered toast.
Butter bean crudaiola with tomatoes and basil
This recipe is inspired by the simple Italian pasta dish crudaiola, where the “sauce” is made from raw tomatoes and basil. Its success really relies on having the best-quality, freshest tomatoes you can afford. If you have a food processor, then the prep for the sauce will be over in flash.
Prep 5 min
Cook 4 hr+
300g dried butter beans
¾ tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled
30g basil leaves
8 anchovy fillets
4 tbsp olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice of ½ lemon
Soak the butter beans in plenty of cold water overnight. In the morning, drain the beans and put them in a slow cooker with a litre of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Leave on low for the day. If you don’t have a slow cooker, bring the soaked beans to a boil in a large pan of salted water, then turn the heat right down and simmer, covered, for 50 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Finely chop the garlic, basil, anchovies and tomatoes, and put them all in a large bowl. Stir in a quarter-teaspoon of salt, the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, then cover the bowl and leave to rest while the beans cook. Once the beans are ready, drain and discard the cooking water, then top with the sauce and serve.
July 16, 2022 at 11:57AM Tamal Ray