Butter beans and roasted peppers

Have you ever tried to mix butter beans and roasted peppers? If not you are in for a treat! Peppers and bean is a classic combo (just think of chili), but I think the flavor combination is at its best when you mix white beans with roasted peppers. Besides looking great, this combination allows the subtle sweetness of the beans and peppers to shine and it has a hint of smokiness from the roasted peppers that makes the dish even better.

Butter Beans and grilled PeppersI particularly like to use butter beans, because their firm texture is a good contrast with the velvety texture of the roasted peppers. I then dress it up with some capers, anchovies and onion (or a tiny bit of garlic) to provide a punch of saltiness that complements the sweetness of the peppers and beans. Finish it off with a bit of good olive oil and you have a meal. Or you can use it as a side to something hearty like a good grilled steak.

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Zucchini Parmesan

This zucchini dish is a revisit of the classic eggplant Parmesan. It is a very simple recipe with only three main ingredients: zucchini, tomatoes and cheese. It is also relatively quick to make: it will take about 30 minutes to have the dish oven ready and then another 30 minutes or so in the oven. And as all dishes that have two steps, it can be prepared ahead of time and cooked last minute. So if you have guests or a busy day you can prepare it ahead of time and bake it only right before going to dinner.
Zucchini parmesan

When we tried it, we were surprised by how good it turned out. I think what brought it over the top was the cheese I used. It was a dutch goat cheese a friend of ours brought from Holland when he last visited us and it worked perfectly in this dish: it melted velvety smooth and had the right amount of sweetness and saltiness. So if you can get your hand use it!

By the way this picture was a great success on Instagram. I’m still wondering why since both composition and light are nothing special. This is why social media baffles me: one time post a great picture or a very interesting recipe and you barely get a blimp on the applicable stats (views, likes, clicks, whatever it is), then you post a random pic of a generic recipe and get plenty of views and click trough and comments and what not. My most viewed recipe is a recipe for yogurt panna cotta with one of the worse pictures I have taken.

I am pretty sure there is an explanation, but I am probably not smart enough to crack the code.  I guess it has something to do with having the right keyword in it and getting enough traffic to get Google to notice, but I am not sure how you choose the right keyword. So I will keep enjoying my 15 minutes of (very limited) fame as they randomly happen :)
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Zucchini flower pizza

If you follow me on instagram, you know I’ve been traveling Namibia for the last couple of weeks and that I had a great time. The views, the animals, the space, the blue skies, every thing was beautiful. I would go back in an instant!

If you don’t follow me on instagram, here is a sample of the pics.

 

Anyway I am now back, and one of the first meals I had back here in the US was pizza with zucchini flowers. Quite delicious and perfect to use some of that delicious garden bounty that comes around this time of the year.

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Tuna, fennel and beans salad

Today I am presenting a new take on an Italian summer classic: tuna and bean salad. This dish is a delicious and simple summer lunch that is typically put together by mixing canned tuna, canned beans and onions for flavor. Dress it simply with olive oil and maybe a tad of balsamic vinegar and you have a winner!

Tuna fennel and beans salad

For this version, I used butter beans and added fennel to the basic ingredients. Of course given how simple this dish is, you have to really pay attention to the ingredients. In particular, the tuna that has to be of good quality or it might be too dry. Since most of the flavor in this salad comes from the onion, choose an onion you like. A white onion will be milder, a purple one will be stronger.

Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed!

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