A simple provencal bean salad
I’ve haven’t stopped in here with something to share in far too long for my liking. I have nothing to say for myself except that maybe, possibly, I have a severe case of laziness. Laziness both in terms of making something to eat that isn’t some form of cheese or vegetable or egg (or some combination of the three) on toasted bread, and then more laziness towards actually putting in the slight additional effort to photograph anything decently. However, that’s not to say I still haven’t been eating well. Toast is pretty tasty, it turns out.
But, I decided that as an excuse for me to post something and say hi, I’d share a simple bean salad that I’ve eaten a couple times over the past two weeks. I guess it’s so simple that it barely constitutes a recipe, but no matter! I’ve been picking up a combination of yellow and purple-tinted wax beans as well as regular green beans at the farmers market the past few weekends. Going to the farmers market these past saturdays has been one of the few perks in returning to a college city that I normally otherwise lovingly refer to as a cultural wasteland. In the slow transition from summer into fall here, I don’t have a firm grasp of what’s in season or not. I really am terrible at that. But I’ve just been grabbing things, like these beans, and they end up tasting good, very good. So thank you, farmers market, and sorry, city that I live in, for putting up with my complaints about your inferiority.
Anyway, in almost every instance, this is how I’ve been eating the share of beans I bring home every weekend. The recipe comes from Mireille Johnston, in her cookbook Cuisine of the Sun. I’ve been reading that book a lot lately when I try to figure out how to deal with any summer (especially late summer) produce. It’s almost always simple, and always delicious. The first time I made this bean salad, I brought it picnic-style for Lindsey and me to share on a day-trip to Portland when she was recently here visiting. We ate it at room-tempurature, in the sunshine, with a couple rolls of bread. It was awesome. I’ve since made it, sprinkling it with either basil or parsley depending on what I have, and eaten it warm. It’s a little bit of a lazy salad, I’d say, and it has been fitting in just right with me lately.
A simple provencal bean salad
Adapted from Mireille Johnston’s Cuisine of the Sun
Serves 4 (although a half serving of this has served solely as my meal on a couple occasions)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 pounds green beans, rinsed
1/2 cup parsley or basil, chopped
For the vinaigrette, mix the vinegar, salt, a good pinch of black pepper, and the garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle in the oil, whisking the whole time, in order to emulsify the vinaigrette. Likewise, you could just stick all of the contents in a small glass jar with a lid and then shake it until it’s all combined. Set aside.
Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, snap off the tips of the beans. Cook the beans in the boiling water, uncovered, for about 4 to 5 minutes, until tender with a little bit of a bite still to them. Drain, and put the beans into a medium bowl. Add the vinaigrette to the still warm beans and toss immediately. Sprinkle the parsley or basil, and serve warm or at room temperature.