It’s sort of ironic that, while as a child, green beans were the vegetable I hated least, as an adult, they are the everyday vegetable I overlook most. I mean, it’s true I love them slow-cooked with tomatoes, the way Tim’s grandma taught him to like them and the way he later taught me, but I only make them that way when Roma beans show up in our CSA or Tim throws a bag of fresh green beans in the shopping cart because, most of the time, the other, more alluring vegetables win out.
If I were ranking vegetables in order of the excitement I feel about eating them, the very nonofficial, I-reserve-the-right-to-change-it-later list would look like something like this:
- Onion: I have to rank onions (white, yellow, red; shallots; green onions, leeks) as #1 because a world without onions would be a world without mire poix, a world without onion rings, a world without the smell of sliced onions caramelizing on the stove—in short, a world with less flavor and a world I’m glad not to know.
- Brussels sprouts: Roast them! Shred them! Fight Tim for the last bite of the brown buttered ones, right off the stove!
- Summer Tomatoes: I always think of tomatoes as a vegetable. Every year when tomato season hits, I tell myself I’ll make giant batches of sauce to freeze for the winter months, and every year I forget, eating every last one straightaway instead.
- Kale: I literally crave kale salad, especially kale salad with Pecorino cheese, garlic, olive oil, and bread crumbs. As proof, the very act of typing those words here just now has made my mouth water.
- Broccoli, roasted: I have to say “broccoli, roasted,” because I don’t exactly want to shout about raw broccoli, even if it is good with hummus, but roasted broccoli? Come on. It’s practically candy.
- Cauliflower: And the most versatile vegetable award goes to…! Make flatbread pizzas. Make fried rice. Roast it like broccoli. Turn it into soup. Some people even bake it with cheese into a giant casserole.
Runners up for Top Five Favorites would have to include eggplant and probably bell peppers; and, of course, I could argue leaf lettuce right up into first place if I give myself time because salad is one of my favorite things to eat, so fresh and crunchable and bright. Also, there are mushrooms, which are fairly neck-in-neck with broccoli or cauliflower, now that I think of it, so meaty and flavorful sauteéd on the stove. But what of green beans? The last decade has sent my former favorite right off the top ten.
But lest you think I’ve spent this entire post talking you out of eating green beans, Wait, wait!
About an hour ago, I asked Tim to name his favorite vegetable. “Out of all of them,” I said to him. “Which one do you like best?”
I’ll give you one guess which he picked.
And so behold, the beauty of marriage! His favorite vegetable, dressed up with one of mine:
ps: It’s worth mentioning here that we were so encouraged by your comments on the last post, guys. Thank you. We’re pressing forward with cookbook stuff, greatly buoyed both by a week of sourdough successes and by kind words from you. Thanks for lifting up our hands and helping. More updates soon.