Prepare yourselves. Salad Season has begun.
Loretta and I went to MacPherson's this morning for our weekly produce run. I'm always telling her not to say "hate." As we were getting out of the car, she said, "Mom, you hate this parking lot, right?" God. I do. I hate that %$#ing parking lot, and I don't mind passing the disdain onto my children. But I love that little produce stand on Columbian Way and the how it's sustained my family for 13 years.
Today, there was a bin of dreamy green beans --small, thin, softly fuzzy, and cheap in the way only MacPhersons manages to be. All day, I plotted their preparation (this is my illness).
I know you all won't get as hopped up about this salad as you did about the carrot cake cookies. But you might reconsider. Throwing the hot pita strips in with the goat cheese melts the cheese a bit, and if you're groaning that it calls for preserved lemons, make some already! I dug into this tangy tangle with voracity. It just tasted so perfect tonight, all of us a little sunburned from playing in the park after school and tired from counting down the days till summer. Gift after gift.
Green Bean and Pita Salad
This serves one hungry mom. For dressing, combine a glug of good olive oil, a minced garlic clove, and some juice from preserved lemons + a chopped up preserved lemon, rind and flesh. If you don't have preserved lemons, just use lemon juice and salt. Trim 1/3 lb. of small, tender green beans. Drop them in boiling water for about 2 minutes, till they're bright green and crisp-tender. Run cold water over them immediately, drain them, slice them in half lengthwise, and put them in a medium bowl. Thinly slice a handful of radishes, tear up a handful of fresh mint, and thinly slice a bit of red onion. Add them to the beans. Cut up one round of Greek pita (mine happened to be whole wheat) into 1/4" strips or wedges. Throw them in a hot skillet with a glug of olive oil, and add salt, dried oregano, and a pinch of sesame seeds. Fry until golden on both sides. Add the hot pita strips to your green bean mixture along with a handful of crumbled chevre. Pour dressing over, gently mix with your hands, and mound onto a plate.