Fresh from the Farm Stand
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
I could spend days strolling through the weekly market in the French town of Vaison-la-Romaine. The vendors at this open air marché sell food and wares from sardines to soap, from Morbier to mattresses. Of all the treasures on display in this maze of stalls, the Mara de Bois – the strawberry that is like a large ruby – is the most precious.
This flavorful gem is smaller and rounder than other varieties, and my husband and I were lured by its sweet perfume. The merchant offered us a taste, and the aromatic sugar cube melted on my tongue. Of the two pints we purchased, one made it back to the house. It took all of my will power to save the other for dessert. (The tiny berries are so delicate that you must consume them within hours of purchase; at least, that is what I told myself as I popped the juicy candies into my mouth.)
There was no need to stop at the confiserie after our trip to the market. The Mara de Bois is a natural confection. And, that evening’s dessert was the simplest I have ever prepared – two petite bowls of Mara de Bois. No honey, no whipped cream, and certainly, no sugar.
One of my favorite vegetables is the wax bean, and I am happy to see them appearing at local farm stands and produce markets. Last night, I prepared these lovely pale yellow string beans, along with fingerling potatoes, to accompany Provençal stuffed tomatoes.
My recipe is straightforward – simply slice off the ends and steam the beans for about three minutes (just enough for them to retain their crispness). Then, run the beans under cold water to stop the cooking process. Arrange the wax beans down the center of a large, flat serving dish, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.
To prepare the potatoes, slice on a bias and boil until soft enough to put a fork through; then, drain and toss with extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. Arrange the fingerlings along both sides of the wax beans.
For some color and enhanced flavor, I garnished the vegetables with herbs from my herb garden…chives on the potatoes and lemon thyme and a sprig of rosemary on the beans.
Serve at room temperature for a cool, refreshing side to meat or fish.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Bean, Chive, Cooking, Fingerling Potato, Food, Herb, Market, Potato, Recipe, Rosemary, Side dish, Summer, Thyme, Vegetable, Wax bean