Friday, April 07, 2006

Sides: Spring Succotash and Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Thanks to my exceedingly talented friend Suzanne, things are going to be looking much different (and better!) around here. She has taken some stunning photographs and is working up a more functional template, as well. Now on to the overdue entry:

I generally love to go to the grocery store. I love wandering through the aisles, picking out just what I need, and perusing any new and exciting products that catch my eye. But sometimes? Sometimes the grocery store makes me want to cry. When I can't find something I really, really need (read: want) at my regular market, I become a petulant, pouty child. When I can't find what I want at a second grocery store? Well, I become downright angry.

The source of my ire? Fava beans, and the lack thereof in North Knoxville. I am nearly sure that The Fresh Market, or maybe even Earth Fare, has the little devils, but I was in a hurry and there was no time to truck across town. And so, I had to settle for Lima beans. Lima beans! I was despondent.

Luckily, the other vegetables in this tribute to Spring flavors were crisp and perfect, and almost made up for the disappointing Limas. Next time, I'll just leave them out if I can't find favas. The "bruschetta" is just heartbreakingly simple and delicious, especially on a slice of fresh brioche. This vegetable-heavy plate makes it a perfect candidate for SweetNick's ARF/5-A-Day weekly event, so check it out on Tuesday for a swell round up of healthy recipes.

Spring Succotash
adapted from Martha Stewart's Healthy Quick Cook
serves 3-4

1 smallish red pepper, chopped
.5 cup fava beans (about 10 pods)
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 shallot, chopped
.5 English cucumber, sliced into half-moons
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh tarragon, chopped

Heat some olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft, but not browning, 3-4 minutes. Raise heat to medium, add the corn, pepper, fava beans, and cucumber, saute for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the tarragon. Cook 1-2 minutes more, until you reach desired doneness (some people like things a bit crunchier than others). Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
serves 2
2 slices brioche
handful small cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
goat cheese crumbles*
fresh basil

*I used some grated Parmesan for Chris, who is not a goat cheese enthusiast.

Toss the halved tomatoes in a drizzle of olive oil, and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Toast the brioche until golden and crunchy. Immediately crumble the goat cheese over the warm bread, let sit for 30 seconds. Spread the now softened cheese just slightly to adhere to the toast, then top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle a chiffonade of fresh basil over the top, and serve. This is wonderful with a small salad as a light lunch, as well.

I served these lovely sides with some lemon roasted trout, recipe to come in the next entry. Spring is finally here, people, it's time to celebrate!

1 comment:

Lis said...

The bruschetta looks simply scrumptious.. I make a similar bruschetta on a french baguette with gouda and oven roasted tomatoes fresh from the garden.. It's one of my favorite snacks as it's so versatile and usually a snap to make.. definitely going to try your version this summer =)