When it’s too hot to use the oven, and vegetables are peaking at markets and gardens, I like to keep things simple. Romano bean and tomato salad with a light vinaigrette is summer simplicity at its delicious best.
Since there are relatively few ingredients in this salad, I recommend getting the best, ripest vegetables you can find. If you have a local farmer’s market or organic grocer, this is the time to pay them a visit – it will make a big difference in the quality of this salad.
Arliano Update (Aggiornamento Arliano):
What a couple of weeks it has been! The tile work is finally done throughout the whole house. For some reason, the two bathrooms took 6 whole weeks despite us being told it would be less than a week. The workers said it was because of the small tile size in one of the bathrooms, but our project manager was also baffled. I think summer vacation mindset is creeping in with the workers. Thankfully, I was home the morning they started grouting the tile in one of the bathrooms because they were using the wrong color – a high contrasting grout which made no design sense. Good thing they had barely started because they had to un-do it. This left me baffled because we had a long meeting about it, and they had taken notes.
Next up, we are told the window casings will be here toward the end of the month so the old window casings will be removed. We do not have a date yet for the actual windows, which is a little scary, but the shutters will not arrive until October. October! Good Lord… that is forever and a day away. They have plenty to do in the meantime such as installing the shower, cabinets, and sinks.
I harvested our first zucchini this week. First up was a creamy zucchini sauce, inspired by one of Rosetta Costantino’s recipes from a cooking class I took long ago. The sauce consists of a couple of zucchinis and an onion sautéed. Then in a blender, you puree the zucchinis, onion, a handful of basil and a handful of parsley and bit of Parmesan (optional, and only if I have some), plus salt and pepper. Blend it until smooth. Add a bit of water if necessary. It is great as a pasta sauce, or over chicken or white fish. Looking for other zucchini recipes? Search “zucchini” on my blog and you will find several.
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Summer Simplicity, Simply Delicious: Romano Bean and Tomato Salad
- 1 pound (16 ounces) Romano beans (or any flat, long green bean), de-stemmed
- 3 San Marzano or Plum tomatoes, cored, de-seeded and diced small
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large or two small garlic cloves, skins removed and finely minced
- 3 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, (not iodized table salt), divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red chili pepper (optional)
- Bring a 4-quart pot of water to a rapid boil and add 2 teaspoons of the salt and stir
- Add the beans and once the water comes back to a boil, boil the beans for 6 minutes
- While the beans are boiling, prepare a large bowl with ice water, mince the garlic and core, deseed, and dice the tomatoes
- Strain the beans and add them to the ice water bath. Let them soak until cool. Drain the water and pat the beans dry. Cut them in half or bite sized pieces, whichever you prefer and place them in a large, shallow mixing or salad bowl
- Add the diced tomatoes and minced garlic
- In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and chili pepper, if using. This is your vinaigrette
- Pour the vinaigrette over the bean salad and mix well
- Let the bean salad rest for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 hours at room temperature but occasionally toss the salad to redistribute the vinaigrette