Late April Meals — Vegetables and Beans of All Kinds

Asparagus that is good and fresh — even if not local — is an early sign of Spring.  It begins a long procession of long-awaited vegetables, usually accompanied by grains and/or beans.  So it was this late, cold, damp April.

My first batch of asparagus was thick and juicy enough for gratinée under the broiler.

Just out of the broiler in roasting pan

On the plate — with a Calabrian Pecorino

After the asparagus appetizer, we moved on to the Beans.  I love beans of all kinds, especially the more obscure and unusual ones.  Inspired again by Judith Barrett’s book, Fagioli, I spent the next two weeks building meals around them.  Here is a sampling.

Umbrian Lentil Soup with Tomatoes and Escarole

Bean Salad #1

Crostini, with Fava Bean and Black Garlic Puree, Avocado Spread, Radishes, Hard Boiled Egg Yolks, and Corona Beans

Crostini with Fava Bean Puree and Escarole

Bean Salad #2, with Radicchio, Spanish Broad Green Beans, and King Trumpet Mushroom

Pan-Roasted King Trumpet Mushrooms, with Aged Balsamico

Delicious red wine from the Marche, Montepulciano grapes

Closeup — Bean Salad #3 — three kinds of beans plus jalapeños and Serrano peppers

Bean Salad #3 on the plate

Graphic of Rancho Gordo Beans — from a wonderful recent article in the New Yorker about the company and its founder

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