“Fish don’t fry in the kitchen,
Beans don’t burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin’
Just to get up that hill…”
Turns out, my friends, that beans do indeed burn on the grill. That is, if they’re SNAKE BEANS and you’re fool enough to put them on it. Which I am, of course! More on Snake Beans in a minute.
Monday night’s menu plan was panzanella of sorts. I say “of sorts” because typically a panzanella is a salad where toasted bread plays a starring role, and lettuce a bit part. As we all know, I can be a bit of a calorie freak sometimes, so in our house, a panzanella is salad that actually has croutons. It’s a rare thing in our house, like a unicorn or Sandra Bullock giving an Oscar-worthy performance.
But back to croutons, here’s a fun tip: Leftover foccacia makes fantastic croutons. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Crunchy and delicious!
Next step was to invite my vegetable friends to the party. Mother Nature has recently bestowed upon me the most deliciously sweet yellow tomatoes via the Pepper Place Farmers’ Market. Seriously…folks gasp when they eat them…they’re that good. Go out and get some now while they’re in season. Anyway, so those beauties were definitely on the salad list.
The next gift from the Farmers’ Market? Those aforementioned Snake Beans. Rattlesnake Beans, actually. Yes, Rattlesnake Beans. Why are they called Rattlesnake Beans? Because when they mature, they release a host of tiny rattlesnake babies, as they are the official vegetable surrogate endorsed by the Association of Barren Rattlesnakes. Or not. They’re named rattlesnake beans not because of their faint purple stripes (like most rattlesnakes have, of course) but because (the internet tells me) their mature pods resemble coiled snakes. Yikes. Thankfully I bought them pre-picked. H
I tossed this snakey ladies with olive oil, salt & pepper, and threw them on the grill, alongside the marinated chicken (lemon juice, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper), and some squash.
OK, so I exaggerated a little…I didn’t actually burn my beans. I charred a few, and lost four to the flaming depths, but all-in-all, it worked out fine. They tasted fantastic on the salad, but were a little overcooked, so watch your time. I’m sure there’s a much better way of doing this, like with a grill basket, but I barely have enough room in my kitchen for saffron threads, much less a new utensil.
Oh, and just for fun, I threw in some purple basil I have growing in the garden. Why not?
So after it was all grilled and done, I piled it all on our “salad plates” (actually salad TRAYS), topped with a balsamic-port vinaigrette, shaved parmesan, and it was bon appetit! It was really delicious. The only problem, as is the case with all my salads, is that it just didn’t look all that great. To quote the Barefoot Contessa, it looked like a dog’s breakfast.
All of my salads look like this, for two reasons. One: I chop the ingredients small for easy eating. Cause really, who wants a Rattlesnake Bean slapping them across the face? Scary. And, Two: I have a crappy camera. But if you’re eating at home and want something healthy and tasty, you can’t beat this. It has great texture, strong flavor, and freaking snake beans, man!
Kitchen Mischief has gotten a strong case of the Summer Slackies, but we’re ramping up to give you some great recipes this summer. With produce so awesome, it would be a crime not to. Oh, and we’re tackling sushi soon…that should be some true mischief! 😉