Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuscany on 21st Street

Jack and I don't go to supermarkets much. We have a shopping route that mostly takes us up and down the streets of the Strip District to produce markets and specialty stores, particularly our favorites, Penn Mac, Stamooli's, and Reyna's. We do our shopping and reward ourselves with espresso and cappuccino at La Prima Espresso on 21st Street where on weekday mornings the customers are mostly groups of men playing cards and talking in animated Italian. Next door and connected to La Prima is Colangelo's Bakery, offering various pastries but also delicious and reasonably priced lunches.

Last week we were later than usual in our shopping and found ourselves at La Prima just after noon and hungry. We ordered sandwiches and went outside to wait and enjoy our coffee drinks. When our food came we were delighted to see a simple bean salad on the plate. We tasted and inspected it, then I went inside to ask what was in it, in case there were super-secret ingredients we wouldn't know about. Nope. It's as simple as it looks, fresh-tasting and a perfect accompaniment to an Italian sandwich or other Mediterranean entree.

Tuscan Bean Salad

1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
broth to cover

Drain the beans and cook in the broth until just tender. Drain.

1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper. diced
3-4 scallions, sliced
a handful of fresh basil, chiffonaded
balsamic vinaigrette, either homemade or bottled, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and correct seasoning. Let stand for an hour to allow flavors to develop. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

We enjoyed them with a Mediterranean Chard Pie. Perfect!

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to having some of this either at your house or mine!