Just when I thought if my appetite ennui became any more listless I might have to change lines of work, the greatest thing happened: I ran out of space. I mean, I am fully At Capacity right now with baby, there is literally not another inch of my midsection that this child can annex for his/her condo renovation or whatever it does at night (you hear that, darling? mama even ceded her belly button!) and this has shifted my appetite one final time, yet at last for the better. Meat is out, starchy carbs are out, I just can’t, they’re too heavy, and in their place are heaps of vegetables with a side order of All The Watermelon. For once, my timing is impeccable as this coincides with the full swing of local farmers markets, with freshly picked piles of summer everywhere you turn. I’ve been angling for as many all-vegetable meals as I can pull off — mixtures of our summer go-tos like this zucchini saute, caprese, quick-cooked corn, roasted baby potatoes with herbs, and pretty much anything green, roasted to a blistering crisp with lemon juice — with just enough chicken or sausage on the side to please the 2/3 of my family not currently repulsed by such things.
Green beans, pole beans, string beans, whatever you know them as, have been a longtime favorite vegetable of mine. [I’m even trying to grow my favorite skinny and delicate variety, haricot vert, although at the rate things are coming along, I expect the first harvest sometime around the first frost.] I love this salad with fried almonds, celery and pickled onions most of all, but also in a pesto potato salad and even in an old-school Thanksgiving casserole with crispy onions. But, as of this week, each of those preparations have been cast aside for my new favorite, and the way it came about is the best/weirdest part. I spied this photo on Ottolenghi’s Instagram last week and guys, I had no idea how he made these or what recipe of his this might be but (I mean this warmly) I also didn’t care. I knew what I wanted them to taste like — the photo had me dreaming of a nutty and loud sauce that clung to every string of bean — and made it so, dusting off the almond pesto from the cookbook and applying it to a rainbow of beans, cooked until just crisp-tender.