Tuesday, July 15, 2008
What's Cooking Wednesday: Simple Summer Supper
Please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.
I love the simple pleasures of summer: hot sunshine, cool breezes, a chilled glass of wine, a dinner of salad and something from the grill.
During green bean season, one of our favorite salads is what I've named "Scaletta Green Bean Salad".
Scaletta Ristorante in New York City has long been a part of my family's New York celebrations. It's near my mother's apartment, and the Croatian owners, Freddy and Omer, are two of the loveliest men you'd ever want to meet. Freddy was a former football (soccer) pro, and the pictures of him in his glory days are quite something. Omer is the wonderfully talented chef.
My parents started going to Scaletta when my father was still alive. He was already quite sick with cancer at that time, and he could be quite fussy about things like lighting and temperature. Everyone at Scaletta treated him like gold, and they've done the same for my mother ever since. She can not have a dinner there without being offered an after-dinner drink on the house. She knows all the servers and they greet her warmly. They manage to know all our preferences. We held Mom's 80th birthday party there. Their Lasagne Bolognese Al Forno brings lasagna to a whole new level.
You won't see the green bean salad on the menu. It is apparently an occasional special, but somehow whenever we go in, all we need to do is ask and somehow, they have it.
I won't even pretend to say that I've imitated Omer's recipe fully, but I guess this is my homage to my favorite place to eat in all of New York. So I present to you:
Scaletta Green Bean Salad
3 cups green beans
1/3 medium red onion, sliced thin
3/4 cup red, ripe tomatoes chopped
1 oz fresh mozzarella
1/3 cup canned cannelini beans, rinsed
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Snap and steam green beans until tender, but not overcooked. Rinse them in cold water to stop cooking.
2. While beans are steaming, rinse cannelini beans, slice the onions and chop the tomatoes. Cut the mozzarella into 1/4" cubes.
3. Toss everything together. Sprinkle the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and toss well. Adjust the seasonings.
4. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
This salad is even better the second day.
Number of Servings: 6
Nutrition information supplied by Sparkrecipes.com.
So what did we have for our simple summer supper? I made a batch of this lovely salad, and then threw some chicken in a bag with the rest of the red onion, cut into chunks, a few sprigs of rosemary from my balcony, 1 TBS olive oil and the juice from 1 lemon and left it to marinate.
At supper time, I lit the grill, took a baguette and brushed some olive oil and a garlic spice blend on it, wrapped it in foil, threw the chicken on the grill and halfway through, had the bread join it.
The results are below. Easy peasy.