Mi­crowave­able of­fice lunches


The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page - By So­phie Miss­ing and Caro­line Craig

The of­fice mi­crowave queue is a des­per­ate, sad place. A lame blip in an oth­er­wise pre­dictably mo­not­o­nous work­ing pat­tern of tea-break-desk-loo-tea-break-desk-loo.

You know the score: you thought you’d timed it per­fectly, but you ar­rive in the “kitchen” at 12.05 to find eight other chumps who have had the same idea. No one needs to spend 11 min­utes of their lunch break queu­ing in awk­ward con­ver­sa­tion (“oh that looks healthy” and “chilli con carne? Nice.”) with es­tranged col­leagues from level 2.

In spite of the so­cial peril that looms in the communal kitchen, mi­crowaves are a bless­ing to have. So for those of you mo­ti­vated enough to queue, and for those of you who can’t face it, here are recipes that are as good at room tem­per­a­ture as they are re­heated.

• Try a new potato salad with fried chopped smoked ba­con and blanched green sliced savoy cab­bage: place the pota­toes in cold wa­ter, bring to the boil, then sim­mer for 8 min­utes, add the cab­bage then cook un­til the pota­toes are ten­der. Drain, cool then pack in a Tup­per­ware with an olive oil and gar­lic dress­ing.

• The evening be­fore, boil green lentils with an un­peeled gar­lic clove, a stick of cel­ery cut in two, and a bay leaf, un­til ten­der but re­tain­ing a slight bite. Drain and dress (while warm) with olive oil, red wine vine­gar, sea salt and black pep­per. Smoosh the gar­lic and add, along with the cel­ery, finely chopped.

Store in a Tup­per­ware and be­fore eat­ing add sliced salami (a gar­licky sort is good): snip this in with some clean scis­sors. En­joy hot or not, with a crusty bit of bread for soak­ing up the juice.

• Roasted pep­pers reign supreme. Cut a red one in half, stuff each half with a cou­ple of cherry toma­toes, driz­zle with olive oil and roast for 25 min­utes on a high heat. Mean­while, make some cous­cous (pour over boil­ing wa­ter and leave to sit, cov­ered). Mix cous­cous with chopped pars­ley, mint and some crum­bled feta. Stuff cous­cous mix into roasted pep­pers (so it ab­sorbs the juice) and ar­range care­fully in Tup­per­ware.

Caro­line Craig and So­phie Miss­ing are au­thors of The Lit­tle Book of Lunch (Square Peg)

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