Backyard gritsNovember 29, 2013
The sound of summer round here is the whoosh of the barbecue flame as it lights, the clunk of crockery on the outdoor table, the clicking of crickets and cicadas, and the occasional high tinnitus whine of a mosquito in your ear. Lazy, cruisy evenings outside are one of the great pleasures of the season in the suburbs, don’t you think? It’s been so rainy around here lately that we’ve taken every opportunity between showers to eat dinner outside.
One of our midweek go-to dinners is a few chunks of salmon chucked on the barbecue and a salad. And the star salad of this week turned out to be this beany number, which now has me addicted to canned flageolet beans.
A friend who moved from Melbourne to Sydney a couple of years ago was horrified to find that these beans are all but impossible to find in this city. A major problem, it turns out, because as I discovered this week – with a single precious can given to me by said friend – the flageolets are a completely different creature to all the other siblings in the canned pulse family. Much more buttery in texture, smaller and altogether sweeter and more delicious than cannellinis or borlottis, these babies are just too good to miss.
My friend has now found a mail-order source, which just shows how essential they are. But if anyone reading this knows where to get them in Sydney, let me know! (I must say I was horribly ashamed of my city on this matter, because it provided some justification for the gasps of distress from pals greeting news of my friend’s move from the south. One actually asked in consternation, “But where are you going to get food!?”)
Anyway, this salad would of course work just fine with other canned beans or even chickpeas. But with the flageolets it was sublime.
- 1 can flageolet beans, drained & rinsed
- handful of fresh broad beans, cooked & double peeled
- half a red onion, finely sliced
- a few anchovies
- a handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- large handful parsley, finely chopped
- juice of half a lemon
- a slug olive oil
- good splash raspberry vinegar (this really made it pop)
- salt & pepper
Chuck everything in!