Today I went to my favorite store, PFI, to buy olive paste. On the way I realized I was close to Top Pot, home of Seattle's best doughnuts. I went in and was overwhelmed by all the doughnuts; I couldn't decide, and ended up getting a Bavarian cream and a cinnamon-sugar old-fashioned. I felt dreadfully sick halfway through my old-fashioned, but managed to choke them both down.
When I got home I fixed a nice supper of cucumber salad, Vaquero beans with tomato salad, and tortillas. Rachael came over and helped me for a while. When she saw me using my cute new slicing device on my cucumber, she wanted to give it a try! I suddenly had sympathy with Annie, who always groans and wrings her hands when I'm using the mandolin, and begs me to use the finger guard.
The beans turned out pretty well, so here's a recipe for them:
Vaquero Beans with Tomato Salad
1lb vaquero beans, soaked
1T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 sweet peppers, toasted on a griddle, then stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2t pasilla powder (or other not-too-hot chile powder)
big pinch Mexican oregano, crumbled
5 tomatillos, toasted on the griddle along with the peppers, then husked and whizzed in the blender
6oz tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
a small shallot, thinly sliced
a sprig of thyme, stemmed
salt and pepper
a glug of olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar
Sauté the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in a big pot till they're starting to get limp. Add the peppers, bay leaf, and pasilla powder and cook till fragrant. Add the beans with their soaking water, oregano, and salt. Cover, and cook till the beans are done. Add the tomatillo purée and cook for five minutes more.
Mix the tomato salad while the beans are cooking, and serve atop the beans.