Last Saturday at the farmers' market, I made a number of nice purchases. I have already talked about the beautiful Blush tomatoes. I also got pretty purple wax beans. Unfortunately, the photo, taken before I washed the beans, does not really do them justice: the color, described here as "dark mauve," is brilliant and intense. And, as you can see, the inside is bright green. When I plunged the beans into the boiling water, however, the original color disappeared almost immediately and the beans turned green.
I contemplated a traditional combination with potatoes (albeit ones with red flesh), when the tomatoes in the CSA box made me change my mind. I selected a yellow one and one that is red and green, with a nice layout of the two colors. I then decided that toasted sesame seeds would provide the right note of flavor and a bit of texture contrast. Finally, a hint of basil rounded off the simple vinaigrette of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (I am aware that not everybody likes the idea of vinegar on tomatoes, but I do. I grew up eating panzanella and various types of tomato salads all including vinegar.)
- 1 lb purple wax beans
- heirloom tomatoes of your choice, the number depending on their size
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (semi di sesamo), toasted in a dry skillet until golden and fragrant
- sea salt, to taste
- olive oil (olio d'oliva) of good quality
- balsamic vinegar (aceto balsamico) of good quality
- basil chiffonade, to taste
Trim the beans (I topped and tailed them) and wash them. Cut them into approx. 2-inch pieces. (I did this after cooking them, but it is better to do it before.) Plunge them into a pot of boiling salted water, bring back water to a boil and cook until desired tenderness. Drain, place in a salad bowl and let cool thoroughly.
Wash and slice the tomatoes, and add to the beans. In a small jar, measure oilve oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Screw on the lid and shake well. Distribute on the salad and toss gently. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and toss again, then serve.
There was quite a bit of juice released by the tomatoes in the bowl, so we used pieces of my homemade challah to fare la scarpetta. We had also another salad for dinner, but that is a story for another post.
This is my submission for My Legume Love Affair 38, the current edition of the popular, legume-centered event created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook, and hosted this month by Preeti of Relishing Recipes.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post
or launch the insalata di fagiolini viola e pomodori audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]