When I go to the produce stand, I'm overwhelmed by all of the fresh vegetables that are available... tomatoes, beans, corn, squash, zucchini, peas, onions, potatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, the list goes on and on.
So why is it that I can be so inspired at the market to buy all of these fresh-from-the-farm veggies and so uninspired to cook them when I get home? Anybody else have the same problem? Maybe it's because I don't make it a habit of cooking vegetables in new ways. I cook them the same old way all the time because it's quick and easy but not necessarily because it's the best way to highlight my summer vegetables.
While I leafed through my food magazines last month, I made a conscious effort to choose recipes that would highlight my summer produce in a whole new way. This recipe for summer bean salad in my Cooking Light magazine was exactly what I was looking for. Summer produce in a quick and easy vinaigrette with fresh herbs and a bright burst of lemon. I didn't have a lot of hope that the kids would be big fans but I decided to go ahead and make it anyway.
Summer Bean Salad
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
3/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces fresh yellow-wax beans (I used green instead)
2 cups shelled edamame
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
Whisk together oil. zest, lemon juice, thyme, pepper and salt.
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add beans and cook 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add remaining ingredients to the dressing and toss to coat.
I served my bean salad with hamburgers. As a I suspected, the kids didn't want to have much to do with the bean salad. Oh well. I thought it was really tasty and the fresh, crisp vegetables were a really nice compliment to the burgers.
What inspires you at the produce stand? Send me your veggie side dish recipes. I'd love to try them.