It's been such a mixed bag of a week. It started with the friend who was behaving so awfully last fall suddenly deciding that he wanted to reconcile, for the oddest of reasons--still don't know what to do about that one--and then progressed to my beautiful old cat Ingrid being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism yesterday. For those who have not had the experience of pilling a cat, it's a sight to be seen.
|It's not a great photo, but just look at that face.|
The good news is that the Eleemosynary cast, all three of them, put down their scripts yesterday and it turned out that they all knew their lines. What could have been a train wreck of a rehearsal turned into my gushing at them about how wonderful they are. We still have two weeks' worth of hard work to do before opening, but I am optimistic.
The other piece of good news is that it looks like we are headed back to Italy this year. If you have restaurant recommendations for Rome, Verona or the regions of Alto Adige and Emilia-Romagna, please let me know.
Because I'm here to tell you: I need a vacation, not to mention some good Italian food.
There are several things I always try to keep in my pantry, because it seems every savory dish is improved by them: olive oil, lemons and shallots. Those three things make a great salad dressing by themselves, but they also dress up simple side dishes, like these roasted green beans.
This healthy side dish could be varied with whatever nuts you have in your pantry, but buttery cashews add a great crunch and hit of salt. It goes together in less than 10 minutes, and the combination of soft and crunchy is out of this world.
Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Cashews
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, February 2009
1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed at the ends
1/2 cup salted cashews, roasted and chopped
1/3 cup shallots, chopped coarsely
1 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of finely-ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees--you will want to cook these in the lower part of the oven to prevent scorching.