Bastille Day

I am a francophile. I celebrate Bastille Day. It is one of my favorite days to create food and share with others. Marinated beans, pates, fruit, cheese, crusty bread and wine. Accordion and piano cafe music. Friends. 
That day’s event over 220 years ago is seen as the symbol for the uprising of the modern nation. At the foundation of all that cooking and celebrating I do each year, I envision  that this year will be the uprising of a more enlightened consciousness. 
So here’s some food to create and share as you envision that uprising.

                                                    celebrate!

Marinated White Beans
Sometimes creative cooks don’t write recipes down. When the person who enjoyed this left my circle, I stopped making it and the mental recipe vanished. This is pretty close:

1 cup of white beans, dried
4 cups of water
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic

Wash the beans and soak overnight. Combine the beans with the water, oil and garlic and salt. Simmer until tender up to 2 hours. You do this slowly because you want them intact. Try a few; you want them tender not mushy or soft. Drain and remove the garlic cloves. Place beans in a bowl.
Marinade
 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine vinegar (sometimes I used tarragon vinegar)
3 T. chopped parsley
several sprigs of chopped rosemary
salt and pepper

Mix all the marinade ingredients and pour over the bowl of beans. This should completely or just cover the beans. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Fava beans and Olives
I wasn’t a big fava bean fan but with olives anything is amazing! 

2 cups of cooked fava beans
1 cup of green olives, pitted and sliced (get some good ones from the olive bar at your local grocer or deli)
Olive oil
Salt
Combine the four ingredients. Place in baking dish large enough that everything is just one layer. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Watch it closely and stir occasionally. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices. 

You can also puree either of these beans, fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil and make a bean pate. YUM! slather it on crusty bread or flax or sprouted crackers with olives and tomatoes!

Figs and Fennel
Figs are one of those short season fruits. Right now is the time to grab a pint of Black Mission Figs, a bulb of Fennel and a Red Pepper and make this salad.
6 large figs, I prefer Black Mission

Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar and salt

2 T. minced sweet onion or shallot

Slice in rounds about 1/4″ thick. Place on plate, drizzle with oil and vinegar, cover with the onion or shallot, sprinkle with salt. Marinate at room temp for an hour

Red Peppers
You can buy these already roasted and marinated or you can do this yourself:
2 peppers, slice and core out seeds, stem and white part
Coat with olive oil
Place cut side down on foiled baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 min til peppers soften and skin starts to raise. Remove from oven and place peppers in covered dish to steam the skin separate. When peppers are cool enough to hold, remove the skins.
2 roasted peppers
2 T minced onion or shallot
Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar and salt
Toss the roasted peppers with shallots, oil and vinegar and salt to taste. Marinate for 1 hour.

Fennel
1 small fennel bulb, trim top down to the bulb
Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar and salt
Cut into paper thin slices until you have a 1/2 cup of shavings. Place fennel into bowl of cold water and will keep for a few hours. 

Reduce some balsamic vinegar until you have about a tablespoon of glaze, mix with a 1/4 cup of oil (fennel oil if you have it). Pat the fennel shavings dry and toss with this oil and glaze.

Place a few fig rounds on a plate, place the peppers over the figs and top with another fig round and stack the fennel shavings on the top of it all!

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