Lunch meat and I have gotten a divorce. No acrimony, no alimony, we've just parted ways.
This choice wasn't especially premeditated, but at some point in the last several weeks I realized that I hadn't bought any turkey or roast beef in a good long while. No corned beef. No pastrami either.
I still love a good deli sandwich, a nice sloppy Reuben, and would order one in a second if someone could please tell me where to get one in Silicon Valley, but after many years of slapping meat on bread I suddenly discovered that if deli meat sits in my fridge for more than about 6 minutes, it gets a slimy coating of unidentifiable goo and begins to smell like turtle.
And have you ever ordered some ham, and when you got it home and unfolded the waxy paper, discovered a wayward scrap of liverwurst clinging to it like a toddler on the end of your skirt? Like it had swan-dived directly from the meat slicer's underbelly right onto your Black Forest, defiling it utterly and completely? Because this has happened to me.
I'm not saying I'm off meat. Really. In fact, if you presented with me with a hot pastrami on marbled rye I'd shovel it down right here, oozing mustard on my t-shirt with 93 percent probability. I'm just not buying deli meat myself.
My current lunches are a bit lighter, and fresher, too.
And unless something really unexpected happens, I don't anticipate finding bits of someone else's head cheese on my green beans.
Recipe for Green Beans with chopped eggs and olives
This is exactly the kind of lunch I love: a quick and pretty green bean dish with just the right amount of protein and a sharp burst of briny flavor. If you want to avoid the crazy gray/green equator on your hard-boiled eggs, don't overcook them.
Serves 2 for lunch
1/2 pound French filet beans (haricots verts), or standard green beans, ends trimmed
Large pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
Place a few handfuls of ice cubes in a medium bowl and fill with cold water. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with cold water and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, add beans, and cook until they've lost their rawness but still retain some bite. (Filet beans will take 3 minutes; standard green beans will take 2 to 3 minutes longer.) Transfer the cooked beans to the ice bath using tongs.
Rinse the pot and fill with fresh cold water. Lower in the the eggs, set over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover tightly, and let stand for 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, lift beans into a colander, pat dry with paper towels, and transfer to a large salad bowl.
When eggs are ready, remove them with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath until cool enough to handle. (If the water has warmed, add additional cold water.) Peel the eggs, chop finely, and distribute over the beans. Add the olives, drizzle with olive oil, and serve immediately.