So, I just got a message from my friend Mike about what to do with an abundance of green beans. Specifically, he asks:
“We got this thing from Frog N Snail* that had the following:
– fava beans
– sliced asparagus
– kale succotash
– green beans
– lima beans
Since we have an ABUNDANCE of green beans at the moment, I was thinking of making this thing tomorrow, but I’m not sure what will bring them all together (like salt, pepper, oil – I have no idea) – any thoughts on how I could tie those all in?”
The great thing about this time of year is that you don’t need to fuss make delicious food; with a bounty of fresh ingredients, all you need is simple seasoning (as Mike suggests) and, in my opinion, a little care in preparation. To bring the vegetables that Mike lists together, I think you have a couple of options. The first would be a soup that highlights freshness, maybe something along the lines of this.
The other, and what I think is probably more appealing for the next few warm days, is a salad that can be served at room temperature or even chilled. The tricky thing here is trying to keep the green beans bright green and vibrant – not an easy task. All the other ingredients (favas, asparagus, kale, corn, limas) should be steamed or boiled, and then immediately shocked in ice water to stop the cooking and preserve color. The green beans should be treated the same way, but should be added to the mix last, just to try and keep them as green as possible. To dress the salad, I say go simple – some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you have some fresh herbs on hand, I think some chopped basil or chives mixed in right before serving would be a nice little addition.
If anyone has additional ideas for Mike, speak up!
*Undoubtedly one of my favorite new spots in Chicago