Thursday, December 30, 2010

cold green bean salad with cheese

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I have been struggling with my weight lately. I am up a few pounds, and feel the need to make friends with vegetables again. I bought a bag of green beans the other day, that looked as green and fresh and crisp, as ones found at a summer farmers market! I knew immediately, that it was time for an old favorite..." Salade De Haricots Verts Au Gruyere." courtesy of one of my FAVORITE cook book author: James Barber (this recipe came from: James Barber's Immodest but HoneEating Cookbook.) I have made this recipe a thousand times, and it never comes out the same. The quality of the beans, the kind of cheese I use, the type of herb I use in the dressing...It's the difference between baking and cooking. You can improvise...and STILL eat it!

The basic recipe is simple: Some blanched, barely cooked green beans...still a bit warm. A GREAT vinaigrette...preferable containing a good amount of dried tarragon, and some cubed, flavourful cheese. Blend everything together, and serve it at room temperature. You can add a poached egg, or shrimp, or salmon, or chicken...or not! This recipe has served me well. I hope you can find this cookbook at a yard sale...I still take it down and read it when I am completely devoid of inspiration. He was a genius. His writing is funny, and reassuring, and the recipes make you want to give them a try. His philosophy was simple. Everyone should be able to feed themselves, and perhaps even someone else. When I was first married, these recipes gave me hope that a fancy dinner party, or a celebratory dinner for 2 was as easy as reading a story. His recipes are full of life, and love of food. I think he would be pleased that people are still reading his stories, and cooking his recipes.

Long live Green Bean Salad!

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