Hello out there you. How were the weekends? We spent it puttering and just trying not to do much of anything, which is kind of a challenge after so much go and do. Plus the first week at the new job left me feeling like my head got chewed off; sometimes university libraries take themselves so seriously, and I am very bad at playing along. I am hopeful that this week it will reduce to a gentle gnawing feeling. So. We played tunes with a dear friend who is possibly our favorite guitar player to play tunes with but you’d never guess because he usually has a fiddle in his hands, we watched an old film, we made loads of fabulous eats, we put up some peaches, and B painted the bathroom. Which is very, very exciting because it was the ugliest room in the house. I will allow that our current color scheme reminds both of us of a YMCA locker room, but it’s cheerful which is saying something since all the tiles are kind of a pasty putty pink. I think he is heartbreakingly handsome when he paints because he wears these special pants that are totally covered with paint from his years as a house painter and he is very Official and Businesslike about it all. See above for photographic evidence.
Anyway. Am I writing about beans too often? Too bad. They are really, really good, and I am just getting the hang of cooking them into silky but intact perfection. Here’s this weekend’s prize:
Scarlett Runner Bean Salad
1 ½ cups dried Scarlet Runner beans
1 small onion
1 bay leaf
Soak beans for at least four hours, more if you have the time. Sautee the carrot, onion, and bay leaf in olive oil until tender, add beans and cover with at least two inches of water. Bring to a hard boil for five minutes and then cook (or pressure cook) the beans slow and low if you have time or higher and faster if you don’t. Drain beans when finished cooking, saving two tablespoons of cooking liquid for the dressing.
1 pepper (ours was from our garden, and golden and sweet)
½ of a small red onion
handful of greens from the garden
fresh herbs as you like, we used some cilantro
any other veggie you think you'd like
Finely chop all of the veggies above.
Make a tasty mustardy dressing using good olive oil, good vinegar (I like to use ume vinegar, but note that it is very salty), lots of pepper, mustard, a dash of sugar, lemon, and reserved cooking liquid (pot liquor, to you bean heads out there). Pour over veggies, mix, add beans, mix. Then crumble and add as much feta cheese as you think suits; we added about ¾ of a cup. Enjoy – I think these kinds of salads are best at room temperature; be sure that the beans are not hot as they will do funky things to your feta. This might be my favorite bean dish so far - the Runner beans are huge and so flavorful and the sharp mustard in the dressing is perfect against the sweet of the peppers.