A million years ago, I had a wonderful Italian teacher named Gloria. She was very funny and yet a little reserved. I think my interest in Italian pop music amused and confused her. Well, it turns out she’s still funny and a little reserved and I know my interest in beans amuses and confuses. She sent me an email with her take on Borlotti/Cranberry beans as a side dish and it’s sounds simple and very good.
Gloria is now a noted artist and you can see her work at her website.
A suggestion for a side dish – Just disregard if you already have it in your cook books….
Season a couple of cups of cooked beans ( I use Borlotti because I’m Italian and that’s what I would use back home..but any large, meaty bean would do) with:
1 shallot, very thinly sliced
1 anice bulb (fennel) sliced on a mandolin, center core removed, green “fronds” reserved for garnish
2 plump garlic cloves, thinly sliced
a generous drizzle of the best olive oil you can afford (Steven Singer/Michel Boynton had some super good ones…)
champagne vinegar to taste
juice and grated rind of one Meyer lemon
salt and pepper to taste
a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds
It’s better if it’s prepared an hour or two before a meal so the flavors will mingle. It can be used as a side dish or a lunch entree, accompanied by a slice of MY rustic, many grains, bread and a glass of rich red wine…
…and just for old times sake, I thought I share a photo of my days in Liguria back in the early 1980s. Oh, to have an actual neck again……..