Farm Fresh Recipe
Chef Mike Lata is dedicated to featuring fresh produce from local farms at FIG, a restaurant in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, that he co-owns with manager Adam Emir. FIG stands for "food is good," and Late has a passion for farm fresh vegetables that began during his childhood in Springfield, Massachusetts, where his grandparents had substantial gardens.
Roma and Yellow Wax Bean Salad with Pine Nuts and Presto Vinaigrette
1/2 pound tender young Roma beans, trimmed.
1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
8-10 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
Sherry vinaigrette; recipe follows
1 tablespoon presto; recipe follows
Salt and pepper
Bring an eight-quart soup pot full of water to a boil. Salt generously. Working in small batches, plunge green beans in boiling water and cook until bright green and tender (three to four minutes). Immediately cool the beans in an ice bath or under cool running after to stop the cooking process. Continue process until all beans are cooked. Repeat for the yellow beans, cooking until tender. In a large mixing bowl, add the beans, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper, dress with the sherry vinaigrette and add pesto. Toss well and adjust seasoning to taste. Present the salad neatly arranged on four small salad plates or family style on a large platter.
For the Vinaigrette:
2 ounces sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
5 ounces of grapeseed oil
Combine the sherry vinegar, Dijon and shallot in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil in a steady stream until well combined. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
For the Pesto:
8 ounces very fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Pecorino cheese
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In the bowl of a food processor, add the basil, pine nuts and garlic. While running, gradually add the oil until all is incorporated. Finish the pesto with the cheese and season with a pinch of salt.