Monday, July 25, 2011

Ensalada de Porotos Verdes/Green Bean & Tomato Salad

I become a lazy cook in the summer. While my favorite things to make are soups, stews, and sauces, they require a lot of attention to be made properly. What's missing from this stock? Sh*t, I added too many bay leaves. I can't believe my shopping list could be published into a small book are all common thoughts for me come winter.

Not so with summer. My trajectory looks more like this. Go to Farmer's Market. Buy perfectly fresh, nutritious, and often inexpensive produce. Go home. Chop veggies. Add salt, pepper, and oil as needed. Bask in my misguided culinary cleverness. This recipe embraces the farmstand with just a few, very fresh ingredients. This recipe is adapted from a different Moosewood cookbook, Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. The recipe comes from a chapter on the food of Chile (porotos is the Chilean word for beans), although I am sure the modifications I've made are completely un-Chilean.
                                   All presented in a very classy Tupperware container!

Green Bean & Tomato Salad (serves 2-4 as a generous side)
  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed*
  • 1 tomato, sliced into small wedges  (I used Buffalo)
  • 1/4 C pinenuts (can be omitted, or else replace with pepitas, sliced almonds, or walnut pieces)
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon (I like to get a little pulp in there, too)
  • 1/4 C red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
1. In a small sauce pan, toast the pinenuts til fragrant. Shake the pan frequently while cooking. Set pinenuts aside.
2. Mix together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. In the same pan used for the pinenuts, boil the water for the beans. Once boiling, add beans and cook til bright green. One cooked, shock the beans in a bowl of cold water and ice. Drain.
4. Mix the tomato, green beans, onion & pinenuts. Add lemon/oil mixture, mix together, and enjoy.

*I didn't weigh the beans, and it seemed to be silly to measure them with a measuring cup. I eyeballed the beans I had to be 1/4 the original 2 lb haul. I took a picture so you can see how many beans I used. If you want ultimate precision, feel free to count them:
                                                            1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6....I give up

Verdict? Fresh, summery, and guaranteed to give you dragon breath from the raw garlic. Make while the tomatoes and beans are just perfect. My husband suggested that this would be an ideal side for baked/broiled fish.

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