Tuesday, June 15, 2010

still pretty

The Gulf coast of Florida, the Sarasota region in particular, was as stunning as ever this weekend. Jaw dropping sunsets, plenty of wild birds and hot, hot days in abundance. It was a melancholy relief to witness the continued good health of this gorgeous area. How long it will last is anyone's guess. A local landscaper and long time resident of Long Boat Key shared with us his belief that this particular stretch of coast will be sparred from the oil spill due to natural water currents. He was much less optimistic about the Florida Keys and even the Atlantic coast. Tragic.

The scorching hot days kept me close to water all weekend. Even a trip to the farmers market was an abridged version of my usual slow progress through every stand. Heartbreakingly, the fishmonger who usually has a long line in front of his booth stood alone and slightly dazed. I asked him how he was doing and his terse response was that he was very anxious about the future of his business. My companions and I bought some of his local snapper and whole shrimp from the Keys. Everything was incredibly fresh and delicious!
The extreme heat of the day limited the range of produce. Forget about lettuce. The best buy were these beautiful hanging baskets for $15!!

Our flight home was delayed and coming home dusty and tired the last thing I wanted to do was cook a meal, but we were hungry. A simple saute of spinach with some of the stir-fried black beans I bought at the Korean supermarket last week made a quick and delicious meal.
Black beans from the Korean supermarket in the package.

Black beans out of the package- a little salty, a little chewy.

A simple saute of greens in a hot pan with a splash of oil will become a delicious meal if you add some fermented black beans from an Asian market. Finish the dish with a little sesame oil.

Welcome back, Deb! Beautiful pictures! Time will tell what the ramifications of the oil spill are. But my heart goes out to the residents and workers of the affected areas whose livelihoods are now in jeopardy, and whose beautiful shores will now be challenged and possibly changed forever. It certainly is tragic.

I really like the idea of this quick, simple and healthy saute. My only problem is I don't think I have had fermented black beans before, so I'm a little unsure as to the flavor profile. Are they very different from "unfermented" black beans? Funny - I was looking at a recipe this week that called for the same ingredient and I was wondering where I might find them. Now I know!

I'm thinking Pinot Noir might be a good match for this saute. Pinot Noir from cooler climates is quite earthy and rustic. A Pinot Noir from Burgundy will not have the same jammy fruit flavors as a Pinot Noir from California. For this particular dish, I would look to a Pinot Noir which has those lovely earthy characteristics. A to Z Wineworks is a winery out in Oregon that produces some wonderful wines. Their basic Oregon Pinot Noir is elegant, with soft, dusty tannins and spice.  

A to Z also makes a lovely Pinot Gris that would also work well with this dish if you are in the mood for white. It, too, has great spice and minerality. This white has great acidity, as well as ripe fruit flavors of nectarines, and lychee. A to Z's basic wines typically run between $15 and $20.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE black beans. I get them from Chinatown, mix in a lot of minced garlic and keep it in the fridge and use it for a lot of my Chinese stir fries. It gives an umami to the dish.


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