I just love the farmers market during Summer. This is not my fave season, although if you have friends with a beach house — as it turns out I do — life is certainly greatly improved. But, goodness, the market is lush with fruits and vegetables for the most healthful cooking. And, living.
Of course, we are in the middle of peach season – yummy. Eaten in the hand, or sliced into whole grain cereal and a dash of nutmeg, or macerated in cognac with a scrape of vanilla bean. And, that’s if you aren’t going to cook cobblers, pies, crumbles.
This weekend, at the Union Square greenmarket in Manhattan, I happened upon the cutest little tomatoes. Larger than cherries, smaller than standard. With a deep orange/red color and topped with a dash of burgundy. Wonderful. I cut them up and added them to my sautéed fairytale eggplants, with some roast chicken. And a crumble of James Brown blue cheese from the Cato Corner farm.
I would show you that dish, but gee, it seems to have disappeared. But, here are some of my market goodies sitting on my NYC kitchen windowsill.
This is the time of the year when I cook up some of my grandmother’s garden vegetable dishes: with fresh green beans or zucchini. When I was growing up, you could not get me to eat them. Now, they are not only redolent and evocative of my youth, they are simply delicious!
Grandma’s Green Beans
2 Tomatoes (Beefsteak are fine, no sense overpaying for heirlooms at this time of the year)
3 handfuls of Green beans (look for those flat Roma beans – but any type or color will work)
2 or 3 smallish Potatoes (I like the little Yukon Golds — starting to see the first picks of the season)
3-4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cut up the tomatoes, put them in a saucepan first — they create most of the liquid you will need for this dish. Cut up the potatoes into biggish chunks then toss in the green beans. I remove the ends – cook’s choice. Drizzle on the olive oil, pour in (maybe) a couple of tablespoons of water, salt and pepper. Put on the lid and cook at a low, slow simmer. 20-30 minutes or so. This is no al dente affair. More like a vegetable stew. I let the potatoes determine the length of the cook. If you pick a potato that can stand up to the cook, you should be fine.