White Beans with Rosemary and Tomato; Green Beans and Rocket with Walnut and Vinaigrette; Caramelised Chicory with Parmesan

This was a quick TV dinner eaten with Zoe in front of episode 1 of BBC’s new Sherlock on New Year’s Day 2014. The chicory is especially good.

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Cook a heap of trimmed green beans in salted, boiling water for 6-8 minutes, and then drain and refresh in cold water to stop the cooking process. Chop up 2 tablespoons of walnuts. 

Mix together 2 level teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss the beans with a big handful rocket and the walnuts.

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Cut 2 medium tomatoes into small chunks. Add to a small pan. Add a rinsed tin of small white beans, such as cannellini, with a sprig of rosemary and a large clove of garlic with its skin on that has been bashed with the flat side of a knife to release the flavour. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and plenty of salt and some pepper. Warm through and stir without boiling. This does not need to cook so much as become thoroughly warmed-through. Remove garlic before eating. The rosemary perfumes this wonderfully.

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Cut however many chicory you wish for into thinnish slices (around 2-3mm), maintaining the stem to hold it together. Heat up a knob of butter until foaming in a frying pan. Lay the seasoned chicory in the butter and turn when browned (as above). Garnish with shavings of parmesan. 

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