GOODBYE, SUMMER. CORN, AND BEANS.

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i’ve finally come to terms with the fact that summer is basically over. i wake up, and the air is cold and i instinctively want to huddle under my warm comforter for as long as possible. joni sidles up right next to me – under the covers and everything – and we spoon for a few blissful moments before i wake up fully and start my day. the air is sharp and clear and already has a scent of the fall harvest upon it. there’s less and less melon, berries and leafy greens at the farmers and more late summer squash and tomatoes. at a recent market i picked up a few fat ears of corn at 25 cents apiece and a quart of supple wax beans.

green bean, sweet corn and shallot saute with lemon

  • 1 quart green beans, ends picked clean and rinsed
  • 2 ears corn, shucked and sliced up
  • 2 small-ish shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup israeli couscous
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • copious salt and pepper

parboil beans in salted water for 2 minutes. set in ice bath and set aside.

heat up skillet with equal amounts olive oil and butter (about 1 tbsp ea). fry shallots, 4-5 minutes. add beans, stir. 3-4 minutes. add garlic and corn to heat through.

squeeze juice of one lemon atop the glorious tangle of vegetables and stir. the corn will likely give off liquid, as will the shallots, creating a wonderful slurry of citric acid, sweet corn sugars and the warm b bite of the shallots.

add pinch red pepper flakes and salt and pepper, to taste. cook couscous according to package directions. eat with warm and crusty farmer’s market bread and some good local cheese. preferrably a sharp cheddar.

that’s it. so easy it’s stupid. obviously, the fresher and better the ingredients, the more effective this dish becomes. you can tweak it a million ways — i love doing a slow braise with beans using roma tomatoes, garlic and white wine. i love this corn/shallot combination in brothy soups with kale. you could sub out any of these vegetables for whatever is in season. add goat cheese for decadence, nuts for texture. plop a piece of roasted salmon on top of the whole mess, or fold in some shredded chicken or a can of navy beans. cilantro would have been amazing here, or using orange zest to finish it off. you get the idea.

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