Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Benefits of Friends with Gardens: Butter Beans and Greens

I feel truly blessed that I have so many friends and colleagues who were kind enough to share the fruits of their gardens with me this Summer.

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My dear friend and colleague, Elaine, brought me this gorgeous bounty from her brother's garden.  Elaine's brother's garden is his livelihood, so this is more than just a backyard patch of tilled soil with  His vegetables are featured throughout Farmer's Markets in the East Bay all Summer long, and Elaine has her pick of all vegetables, anytime.  I am so pleased that she though of me!

I have to say, these tomatoes we the most, red, ripe and luscious tomatoes I have had in a while.  Nothing like Summertime!

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I made this salad above for an afternoon lunch with my dear friend, Neil.  The WHOLE salad looked spectacular, but alas, I lost the picture of the full platter on Instagram, due to an iPhone glitch.  Here are the leftovers I took to lunch the next day, which, I think, still looked good.

My folks are living in Italy for the next few months, so I was feeling a bit "Mediterranean".

Butter Beans and Greens
Here we have:
1 can of Butter Beans (cleaned out mom's pantry before her trip, thank you)!

Rinse and drain beans, then toss with:
2 chopped scallions
1 minced fresh red chili pepper, seeded (from the Farmer's Market)
2 roasted red peppers, chopped (another score from mom's pantry)
olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Set aside

1 organic heart of romaine, chopped
2-3 cups fresh arugula (from the Farmer's Market)
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped (from my dear friend, Tara's garden)
2 large garden tomatoes (from Elaine's garden)
1/3 cup kalamata olives (clean out the fridge)

Dress the salad greens with some olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Toss with remaining vegetables, and then top with the beans.

We enjoyed this with a fresh baguette, and some pasta with roasted zucchini, eggplant and sweet peppers (pictured above) and tomatoes.  Buon Appetito ^_^

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Chilis from the Farmer's Market - the one I used was right in the middle :)

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