Purple Beans and Nectarines
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I recently befriended a lady who apparently performs a front flip out of bed every morning, to get her day started in a positive way. I know. I just barfed too.

This lady, this modern, authentic and charismatic character, is the real deal. She's not the paleo, gluten-free version of an interesting person. She is the most genuinely motivated and curious person I have ever met. She is also an insanely talented singer, especially in that joyful underwater, frozen in a castle, stuck in a tower kind of way.

She's like magic.

Magic like these beans.

These beans are Purple!
These beans are Purple!

Food can be magic.

Steam them and they turn Green!
Steam them and they turn Green!

I thought I did something wrong after steaming these beans before sautéing. I was super obsessed with the color, aubergine purple without the dreadful taste of eggplant (like the ONLY food I don't enjoy).

And then they turned green. Boring green bean green. I would have been bummed if they didn't somehow taste purple (not true). No, they tasted like perfection. Didn't even need sautéing, but I did it anyway, cause I had nectarines that needed a warm friend.

Now back to the front-flip girl. I'm going to attempt to not complain about being a parent of two. While difficult, it's certainly the most rewarding thing I've done in my life. When we wake up in the morning, after what has generally been a mediocre night's sleep, woken up by at least one of the two kids (lately both), it's kinda tough to greet the day with bright eyes when all I wanna do is roll over and snuggle with my handsome husband.

The front-flip girl wants kids. I can only imagine she'll be the most excellent mother... but I'm curious if she'll still practice said-flip once she's popped one out? I wonder.  I don't doubt she will.

Grilled Nectarines
Grilled Nectarines

I say this often, but when you have kids, you need things to be easy. I'm a big fan of easy. This crisp, grilled salad is easy. Front flips are not. Getting out of bed and putting on a happy face isn't always easy, but damn it feels good to greet the day with a good mood.

I'm taking life lessons from this lady, reminding myself no matter how hard the middle of the night is, no matter how many time-outs we have to deal with, no matter how often spit-up soaks my left shoulder, those smiles I wake up to are worth it.

I know, barf.

Grilled Nectarines with Purple Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 to 1 lb. purple beans, ends snipped off
  • 3-4 nectarines, cut from the pit into half-moon pieces
  • juice of half a lemon
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Nice goat cheese like my new fave, Bucheron Montchevre
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and either boil purple beans until tender, 4-5 minutes, or steam in steamer basket until tender, 7 minutes. Watch your purple beans turn green. Plunge beans in an ice bath to stop cooking. Remove from water and let dry. Cut into 2-3 inch pieces once cool enough to handle.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Gently sauté the beans until slightly browed. Add a pinch of salt, the juice of half a lemon and put aside.

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high. Combine nectarines with a nice glug of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until browned, 5-6 minutes. Alternately, heat 2 tbsp of butter in pan and cook nectarines until browned, 5-6 minutes. Remove and let cool. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Combine the beans and nectarines in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and another squeeze of lemon, top with crumbled goat cheese and toasted walnuts.

And scene.
And scene.