I always like it when I go to a restaurant and there is a flower on the table.
It does not need to be fancy, expensive, or impressive. The only requirement is for it to be freshly cut and surrounded by the simplicity of white.
Nature is so far superior to what we humans can do, that to try and mess with it is at minimum a meaningless crime.
Having said all that, I also want the table to be simply laid out. I do not want a lot of stuff on it. The simpler, the better. Because I want the food to be the definite protagonist of the experience.
Each meal is an experience. Today’s meal has the elements of “the first time”, which make it even more enticing.
The green beans are the first of the season, the first I have ever produced in my life. What a feeling!
Back in early May, the green bean plants were very small. I was wondering what will become of them.
I have no doubts now.
This lack of doubt has led me to the decision to cook and taste the beans.
Certainty arms the hand, but the soul is still in doubt.
How will they taste? What ill the texture be like?
They look good, but looks is not everything. As a matter of fact, it is only a (the) beginning.
They may have the features, but the taste and texture is an alltogether different thing.
The preservation of taste and texture of the primary material is my fundamental objective when I cook something as pure and natural as these green beans.
For this reason I only blanch them and serve them with olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
Nothing more is needed.
The result could not have been better.
The texture is silky. You experience the transition from substance to non-substance.
Your palate is in continuous transstion.
The taste is subtle, you have the flavour of “greenness” in your mouth, but it does not overpower you.
What could be a better companion to this gastronomic jewel but a robust lamb roast?
I bought the two legs of the lamb almost up to the kidneys. This was less than 4 kilos. The whole lamb was around 12 kilos.
I roasted it with garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and fresh oregano.
I have a slow roasting method that “pulls” the bones out.
No knife is needed, the meat comes off by a gentle pull of the fork.
And then it melts in your mouth.
It was the first time I put together such a minimal menu. But it worked!!!
And there was no mustard on the table!
This meat demands respect!!!
(Between us, I cannot stand the sight of people who destroy a delicious piece of meat by drowning it in a puddle of mustard. What is the point???)
(I could write an article on the masochistic syndrome of these “mustard” afficionados, but I will not. Maybe another time.)
(Every time this happens, and the delicious meat is destroyed in the mustard puddle, I feel that I might as well have served mustard as the main dish.)
Strawberrys with melted chocolate ended the memorable meal.