Between a broken ankle and the beginning of a new school year, I’m a bit behind on consuming my CSA vegetables. This weekend found me with a cooking date with my dear friend Leila and an abundance of green beans, tomatoes and potatoes. My first thought was some sort of Indian curry. But I seem to be out of rice.
Autumn has arrived in New York City. The sunlight is a distinct shade of gold and the air is crisp. My apartment, which is excessively hot in both summer and winter, has finally dropped below 76 degrees. (I know this because the coconut oil in my pantry has begun to crystallize.) After months of chopped salads and quick cooking on the stovetop, I found myself longing for a hot dish and the heady aroma that accompanies an oven bake.
Thus was born this potato, lamb, green bean, tomato and feta casserole.
- 8 new potatoes
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoons ground cumin or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or to taste
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (plus some cayenne and/or Aleppo pepper if you’ve got it)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 3 large tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon minced basil
- 4 ounces feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook approximately five minutes until the skin gives easily under your fingernail. Remove the potatoes and add the green beans. Cook for one to two minutes just until bright green.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Then add the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and hot pepper, stirring constantly to toast the spices without allowing them to burn. Do the same with the minced garlic. Add the ground lamb and cook until the meat is thoroughly browned and any excess water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and add more cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg or hot pepper as needed. (You want a very flavorful mixture.)
- Slice the potatoes into 1/4″ discs and arrange in a single layer at the bottom of a shallow casserole pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the lamb mixture on top of this and then layer the blanched green beans. Add a layer of thickly sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle oregano, basil, salt and pepper over the tomatoes and then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Lay a slice of feta on each tomato and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Bake until the intoxicating aroma rouses you from the couch and the feta is well browned (approximately 30 minutes).