As I sit and write, my gaze wanders up and down the paperback fiction shelf of my local library; Les Miserables, To Kill a Mockingbird, Kiss and Tell, Burned. The story of humanity is often such a tragic one. What sadness that what we let rule our lives are often the little things that torture us until we yield; The Have’s and Have Nots, Watch Your Back, Killer Angels.
Sometimes I have to intentionally remind myself to stop, breathe and pay attention to the good that we have in our midst. It is too easy to perseverate on the evil, the uncomfortable, the hate that permeates our senses.
Etta James “At Last” being belted out with a bit of staccato, recognizing the egg-dart and burnished copper frieze that decorates the Carnegie’s roof, long cream wool socks that keep my legs warm in the autumn chill, lightly sweet coffee sipped out of a bottle “snuck” in, The Princess Bride; these are good.
Now that is a funny one, The Princess Bride. Iconic. And quite nice a change from the painful titles that line the chocolate colored, slowly peeling shelf. Sometimes, just sometimes, there is a bit of humor in this crazy world and that movie captures the inane comedy that love can often be. Sometimes too, there is magic…The Lord of the Rings.
Yesterday was good too. I was able to take a long walk down to Bread and Salt Bakery, where I was able to snag myself a loaf of their beautiful Pane Casareccio with its subtle tang and crisp exterior that gives way to its chewy insides. Now that Rick has been discovered by Mark Bittman in his last Eat column for the New York Times, I may have to fight the masses to get my daily bread, but it will make it all the more worth it when I have fought my way in! Congrats Rick.
Because a bread that is so good on its own deserves a pairing just as simple and delicious, I turned to my pantry to whip up this whip-quick white bean salad for lunch. Inspired by a white bean salad recipe from the American Cancer Society that I left the farmer’s market with, it is healthy, frugal and really, really good. It doesn’t photograph as well as the bread but hey, if it tastes good, who cares!
Find joy where you can today. It really is everywhere you look if you just choose it.
- 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped finely
- 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar (red or white wine would work too)
- 4 cups small white beans such as northern or cannellini, cooked
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled sheep milk feta
- 1/2 cup of parsley, chopped roughly
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small skillet saute chopped garlic with 2 Tbsp of olive oil until sizzling, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
- Roughly mash about 1/4 of the beans just a bit until soft.
- In a large bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, feta, onion and parsley. Stir until combined.
- Add garlic, oil and vinegar mixture.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate until cool or serve warm.