18 July 2012
Fresh from the farmer's market
Corn and mushrooms and tomatoes and berries and arugula and peppers and carrots and zucchini and eggplant and lettuce and nectarines and plums! YEAH.
Clearly there is no better way to use some of the summer's peak produce than to whack them all together on a plate.
Here we have a delightful dish of herbed couscous and pan-fried spicy white beans with arugula salad and chopped raw heirloom tomato over the top. Fantastic!
Herbed couscous is easy. Cover instant dry couscous with boiling water from the teapot. You want maybe an inch of water above the couscous layer. Cover with a tea towel (or pan lid, or whatever) and let steam for about five minutes. In the meantime, chop up a selection of whatever herbs you like and have on hand. I used parsley and basil. When the couscous has absorbed all the water, fluff with a fork. Mix in your chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Voila!
I make something approximating these white beans all the time. Sometimes the beans stay whole--especially if I've kept them a touch undercooked, like a responsible cooker of beans--but more often they end up melting into a delightful mess.
Soften a chopped onion and/or several cloves of garlic in a little olive oil, adding chopped hot pepper to taste. Season with your choice of herb; I like marjoram, oregano, and basil. If you want to add some more vegetables--bell peppers or mushrooms, for instance--go for it. When all your vegetables are tender, add cooked, drained white beans and fry to your preferred color & texture, deglazing with white vermouth if needed. Correct seasonings & you're done.
Eat your delightful mess of white beans with couscous, copious arugula, and an entire chopped fresh tomato. Hooray!