It’s February and we should start thinking about summer – the sun, the beach and – wait a minute – the bathing suits, too? Whether we’re happy with last year’s G-string size or not, now is definitely a good time to stop eating and get moving.
Accordingly, I brainwashed myself into believing that sweets can be replaced by salads and vegetables. One of my fav’s is a carrot and green bean dish that I grew up with in Italy. All you need for this is a little salt, pepper, garlic and extra virgin olive oil to boost the natural sweetness of these two veggies.
Should I get caught in a restaurant in the next few weeks, rest assured that you’ll hear me ask my server for fish or chicken, “a side of carrots, green beans – and bring the olive oil, please”.
Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
1/2 pound fresh green beans, tips discarded
3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic Cream*, for drizzling (optional)
1. Place green beans in a 2-quart saucepot; cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
2. Cook 2 minutes or until beans are crunchy-tender.
3. Drain and place beans in a large glass or porcelain bowl. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, place carrots in same 2-quart saucepot; cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
5. Cook for 1 minute or until carrots are crunchy-tender.
6. Drain carrots and add to the beans in bowl. Add salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve immediately as a side to fish, chicken or steak. Drizzle with a little balsamic cream (optional).
*Balsamic cream is a thick, glazed reduction of dark balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is from Modena, Italy. It is made from the Trebbiano grape and is aged in wooden barrels for several years. There are two varieties of balsamic vinegar: the dark and light variety. Both the cream and the vinegar can be found online at Amazon.com®.
Text and Photographs ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real