moments before mealtime
First things first: Charred ramps? Their season is long over, we know. But cleaning out the refrigerator earlier today day I found a bundle of them sealed in an airtight plastic bag––leftovers from the stock that JB and I bought in April––and guess what? They were in pretty good shape. Talk about a nice surprise. Why not cover them in olive oil and throw them on the grill, I thought? Not bad. Not bad at all.
Next: the steaks. JB wanted to christen our brand new Weber One-Touch grill with the best, so he bought two HUGE rib-eyes from Grazin’ Angus Acres, the primo meat purveyor at our neighborhood farmer’s market. Following this recipe for Cowboy Rib Eye from Saveur, he gave our steaks a sticky, caramelized crust and mild, sweet/spicy flavor. It was excellent. Note: It’s all about the rub, but if you can’t find the guajillo and pasilla chiles that it calls for (we couldn’t), just forget them. All will be wonderful, still.
Lastly: the salad. Bean salad is a summer staple in our home, though no two bean salads that I make are ever the same. This one stars cranberry beans and is served over a bed of arugula that’s been dressed with the bean salad juices/vinaigrette. Here, like this:
CRANBERRY BEAN SALAD
2 cups cranberry beans, soaked for 4 hours, then boiled for 30 minutes until soft, but not mushy
3 celery stalks, with leaves, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
the juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cups olive oil
1 tsp red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups fresh arugula
In a large bowl, toss the beans, celery, green onions, parsley, and garlic. Add the chili flakes and lemon juice and toss again. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil, and toss. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and let the bean salad sit at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the vinaigrette thickens and coats the beans with ease.
Remove some, but not all, of the vinaigrette from the bottom of the bean salad bowl. Toss as much or as little as you like with the arugula. Plate the arugula first, then place generous spoonful of the bean salad on top of the glossy greens.
It’s really simple, and the bean salad only gets better with time. In fact, it’s actually better the next day, so I suggest making it in bulk.