tuna, fennel; Rattlesnake beans, lovage; tomato


the beans


Franca steered me toward these outsize, slightly homely beans shortly after I had stopped by her stall in the Greenmarket on Wednesday.  Her knowing look, her nod, and my follow through to her enjoiner, “taste one”, were all I needed to scoop up enough of these Rattlesnake beans for dinner.  They were terrific even raw (always an indication of a good bean), and they more than lived up to that promise after a little parboil and the addition of lemon and one of my favorite herbs;  they had so much flavor however that neither would actually have been missed.



The tuna was unusually high at the fish monger’s on that same day; when I cut a very thick 11-ounce steak into two pieces, they each ended up looking more like ship’s prows than representatives of the undersea aristocracy that they were.

  • two five-and-a-half-ounce sections of tuna loin from Blue Moon Fish Company, rubbed on both top and bottom with a mixture of fennel seed and dried peperoncini, ground together, plus salt and pepper, then pan-grilled for a minute or so on each side, finished with a good squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Rattlesnake beans from Berried Treasures, strings removed and the beans ‘snapped’, parboiled for a few minutes, then dried inside the same pan while shaking it over a brisk flame, and later reheated with oil, tossed in a bowl with lemon zest and a little lemon juice, seasoned with salt and pepper, and, finally, chopped lovage, also from Berried Treasures, cast over the top of each portion
  • one small heirloom tomato from Norwich Meadows Farm, sliced into four horizontal layers, briefly placed in the grill pan next to the tuna, then removed, distributed onto two plates, seasoned, drizzled with a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar and some olive oil
  • the wine was a California rosé, David Akiyoshi Sangiovese Rosé Lodi California 2014
  • the music was Huang Ruo Chamber Concertos, performed by ICE