“Lens” is allegedly Latin for lentil or bean, a fact I didn’t know until I began my usual pre-post* Googling. It makes sense, when you look at the shape of a typical glass lens, like those in the more owlish kind of spectacles. Beat up a dweeb today and find out for yourself, ladies and gentlemen! That’s science.
So, food! I bought a welter of Roman beans at the market the other week, and they are beautiful—gloriously spotted and streaked, as though there are messages in Morse code tracing their way across the surface of each bean.
I soaked them overnight, and then I realized that I had no clue how best to use their flavors. The predominant Google yields for Roman beans, recipe-wise, seemed to be soups. Many of said soups were fragrant with sauerkraut, which one can smell through the Internet, no foolin’!
It wasn’t what I wanted. It’s unbearably hot these days. I wanted something light, or at least as light as beans can manage.
Was I remiss in doing the following, readers? What are some things you’d try with Roman beans?
juice and zest of 1 lemon, or to taste
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. whole-grain mustard
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups Roman beans, soaked overnight and cooked till tender
3 tbsp. mint leaves, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk together first four ingredients until thickened and emulsified. Take pains not to over-beat the olive oil, as it gets bitter when abused (wouldn’t you?). Combine beans and tomatoes in a bowl; drizzle with vinaigrette and gently toss. Add salt and pepper, then mint, gently toss once more, and chill thoroughly before serving.