Well, we’ve had quite a weekend. Michael participated in a 24 hour community bike race here in Milwaukee (Riverwest 24). And in our tiny apartment, we hosted 5 of his fellow bike-crazed, out-of-state buddies who were also riding. A good ole time was had by all, but in the end… we were pooped. After the weekend was over, I spent the day airing out the apartment of boy sweat and washing way too many towels for the dryer to handle. You know how it is when you have coin laundry. Everything WILL fit into that dryer and it had better dry… and when it doesn’t dry, every piece of furniture in your apartment conveniently transforms into a clothesline. So, surrounded by the hanging results of my stubborn battle with the dryer, I decided it was time to get back in the swing of things in my kitchen. We needed one good meal that would nourish and energize our tired selves.
I had a lovely sounding sweet onion vinaigrette recipe that I’ve been itching to try ever since I spotted it in an old issue of Gourmet magazine. I decided to make that dressing to compliment some fresh farmer’s market produce as well as a beautiful pair of Lake Superior whitefish. Also, a couple of our visitors brought us some gorgeous tomatoes from their garden which I was determined to incorporate into the meal. Look at these guys! Aren’t they just dreamy!?
This meal was sure to get us back into our nice, healthy, non-takeout-eating-habit again. I decided to make a simple pan-fried fish with just a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning. Nothing fancy. The sauce was going to be the star of this meal! On the side would be some roasted fingerling potatoes simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and lots of garlic. Finally, I blanched my fresh green beans and chopped up some of those perfect little tomatoes to be tossed with my sweet onion vinaigrette.
Now for the vinaigrette. The ingredients were simple, but I had to play around with them a little to get the flavor that I wanted. Here’s the lineup: sweet onion, red-wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, green beans, olive oil and flat leaf parsley. Now, the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of grainy Dijon mustard which, in my humble opinion, is far too much when only using 2 tablespoons of olive oil. But, then again, I’m not a mustard girl. I just like it barely flavoring my dish, not taking over. I played with the proportions a bit until I got what tasted right to me. You might want to do the same until you achieve what seems like balance for your palate. I’ll just write the recipe the way I made it.
Here it goes:
Green Beans and Tomatoes with Sweet Onion Vinaigrette (adapted from Gourmet)
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 ½ lb green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Stir together onion, vinegar, mustard (to your taste), 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Marinate about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook beans in a large pot of well-salted boiling water, uncovered, until just tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large ice bath to stop cooking. Drain and pat dry.
- Whisk oil and parsley into onion mixture. It is here that one must make the taste-based decision of how much olive oil to add. Start with a couple tablespoons and taste your way to its perfection.
- Toss the onion mixture with the blanched beans and fresh tomatoes
Feel free to drizzle the vinaigrette on any other simple component of the meal! It added a delicate, fresh flavor to the roasted potatoes and pan-fried white fish.
Michael sure liked it… but I think Habibi would just prefer the fish.