Tuesday, March 25, 2008

sympathetic magic

I have a fresh bone to pick with the weather gods.

It's starting to look a little more like spring. There's more sunshine, and it's light out until early evening. But there's still a nasty chill to the wind, and I'm still not ready to put away my scarf and gloves. We're almost at the end of March. Can we turn up the heat a little, please?

Although I could fashion weather god voodoo dolls, I have no idea what the weather gods actually look like... and I probably shouldn't mess with them. So I'll just attempt a more subtle form of sympathetic magic: if I cook warm weather food, then logically, warm weather will follow, right?

Bean Salad with Sardines

If I haven't succeeded in convincing you of the merits of sardines, you can also serve this salad alongside canned tuna, or grilled chicken. (Though in my biased opinion, it won't be quite as good.)

(Serves one for lunch, with leftovers.)

Put a small pot of water on to boil. Top and tail a pound of green beans. When the water reaches a rolling boil, drop the beans in. Blanch for four to five minutes, until the beans are fully cooked but retain their bite. Drain; place under cold running water until the beans are warm to the touch.

Dump one can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans into a mixing bowl. Add the green beans and four or five sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice from one lemon, and mix well.

Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a plate, and top with the contents of one can of sardines in olive oil. Serve with slices of lightly toasted rosemary bread and extra lemon, if you like.


Virgin In The Volcano said...

Sounds good to me. Sardines and a good olive oil make pretty much anything taste good. And thanks for the marshmallows--the chocolate on them was sooo good.

adele said...

I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Yulinka said...

Early spring is the most overrated time of the year. Everyone's like, "it's spring, whee!" but it's not like it's any warmer. We got 10-15 inches of snow here in Wis. last week, and I'm hearing rumors about a possible snowstorm tomorrow. Hope your warm-weather salad actually delivers warm weather in Boston!

Jen Dockter said...

Adele, I have a question for you. I have been a vegetarian for about 3 years now. Prior to becoming as such, I mostly just ate fish. I loved fish, but I have personal issues with the fishing industry I won't go into now.

What I want to know is: have you found anything that is non-animal that can replicate, to some degree, the taste, texture and overall heady nature of strong fishes (like your sardines, anchovies and smelt). I have found decent vegetarian tuna which gets the texture almost dead-on, but it lacks the extreme fishiness of flavour. So it sort of dead-pans if I am to apply it to a salad that needs a strong fishy presence.
Would adding Bragg's Amino work? Do you have any veg sauce ideas that might replicate what I'm missing?

adele said...

Yulinka - If it doesn't, I'll just have to try harder. :)

Jen - I know you can buy vegetarian/vegan versions of nam pla (Vietnamese fish sauce), which might add the fishy note you're looking for. As for other products, you can find "mock fish balls" in Asian supermarkets (made from tofu) that I think are pretty close to the real thing.