Monday, August 6, 2012

Romano Bean Salad with Arugula and Peppers

A Guest Post by Finn the Cooking Assistant (aka the dog picker)

"I'll be back with carrots," the Lady told me, as if that was her excuse for not doing the morning walk. Anyway, I'd expected lush carrots when the Lady returned from the market.  I sniffed every bag, but all I found a big bag of green Romano beans. "Where were my carrots?  I sighed.  I'm really getting worring about the Lady's memory.  Who could forget carrots at the market?

I sulked.  Then I got a whiff of the fresh green beans and I remembered them from last summer. Sublime.  I didn't care about the carrots anymore.  

The Lady said green beans are one of the best buys at the market right now. At least I don't have to worry forking over money to buy my own food.  Dogs don't have pockets for keeping change anyway.  Sorry no spare change. . .   Anyway, back to beans--you've got to be crazy not to love green beans!  And so many kinds to pick from here-- green, yellow wax and Romano and of course the haricort verts. The last one must be said with a trace of food snobbism. 

We don't eat haricort verts at our house.  At least I've never indulged in those skinny, French green beans for $7 to $10  a pound.  Someone please tell me are they worth paying more than twice the price? Give me the yellow, green and flat Romanos--that's the kind of beans I'm barking about.

Beans from the Hillsdale Market in Portland, Oregon
I love them raw, of course what dog doesn't?  Blanched until fork tender is heavenly, too.  If it was just me, I'd eat them plain off the vine--no recipe necessary.

Salad Making Options

The Lady scanned books and web for recipes.  So many included bacon or hard boiled eggs, but Management discarded those ideas.  The Lady is a picky eater (no meat, fish, chicken, cheese . . .) and she likes just vegetables, so many in fact, I have food scraps beyond my wildest dreams.  I am the perfect dog for this house.  (Oh, I suppose my sister is included, too).  No food hits the compost heap before its time here..

What we found:
This one from Food Network, included walnuts, but there wasn't anything special about it.  Food Network has some really crappy excuses for recipes. What's up with offering recipes that sound like they've all been done before?  Even the Lady says, Food Network has gone down hill since they took away Ming Tsi's East West cooking show.  Really?  That was so long ago, it was before I was born!

Then there was this recipe that practically screams: Where's the vinegar?  Come on, is it really a "salad" without the ping of lemons or vinegar?  Sure they suck the color out of the beans eventually, but the point is eat the salad the first day!  Whysave any for tomorrow/

Then we came across this one with tofu and arugula, and the Lady found the key ingredient. Arugula.  Oh and of course the Lady had to add red peppers, which she insisted added color.  But why point that out to me, when we canines only see shades of grey when it comes to red?  If humans saw what we see, they wouldn't be so impressed by red peppers.

Notes from the Management:

This is just a simple salad with local ingredients, well, except for the orange.  And if you have some berries you can make your own berry vinegar with this cool recipe I found on Summer Salad Sundays.    I never know what treasures I'll find there. And if you're looking for more summer salad ideas check out Miz Helen's Country Cottage on Thursdays.

Romano Bean Salad with Arugula and Peppers
(Serves 4)

1 pound Romano beans, rinsed, ends removed
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
Handful of arugula, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Blanch green beans in a large kettle of water until fork-tender, for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook!
Rinse immediately in very cold water (to stop the cooking process).

2. Combine orange zest, juice, vinegar, olive oil, mustard and garlic in a small bowl   Whisk together until well blended.

3. Gently toss with blanched beans, red pepper, and arugula.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Here's the entire easy summer meal:

Romano Bean Salad
Grilled Vegetable Tostadas
Northwest Berry Crisp

Nothing better than grilled peppers and summer squash in the summer!

From where I'm sitting it all looks good.  Bone appetit!


Torviewtoronto said...

delicious meal looks wonderful

Joan said...

Thaks Finn for these amazing recipes! They are 'gotta try'!

Debbie @ Easy Natural Food said...

I have never tried Romano beans before but they look really tasty, especially in this salad! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays.

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by. Hope you got some fruit inspiration for salad dressings! Next up blackberry vinaigrette. Who can live without summer salads? And Debbie, I"m so sorry the Sunday links ups are gone.