Green Bean and Mint Salad (Edward turns 88)


Edward turned 88 in mid-July, and of course he cooked his own dinner: stuffed clams, anchovies on toast, and champagne; risotto with zucchini flower pesto, broiled tuna (caught by a roofer/fisherman we know in Montauk) with scallion pesto, last year’s baby porcini, that we had blanched and frozen whole, skewered and broiled with the fish, and a green bean and mint salad, served with his own white wine (kind of a gut wrencher if you ask me, but he loves it). My sister Lisa made a blueberry tart studded with pastry stars. It was a warm, grateful party, but I think what was most gratifying for Edward was the fact that he is still on his game in the kitchen.

Stuffed Clams
Serves 4 as an appetizer

You can stuff oysters the same way. Mussels, too, but you have to steam them open first—opening fresh mussels is a drag.

4 pounds Littleneck clams
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice from ½ lemon

Open the clams over a bowl to retain any spilt juices and loosen the meat in the shell. Discard the unused shells

Preheat the broiler.

Place the clams on a large cookie pan. In a medium sized bowl combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper and any leftover juice. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the clam meat. Dribble the lemon juice over the clams.

Place the clams under the broiler and broil for a minute, until the breadcrumbs brown. Don’t walk away! They burn easily.

Tuna with Scallion Pesto
Serves 4

This pesto is good with other fish as well, both raw and cooked, as well as spooned into vegetable soups on pasta dishes. This recipe makes about 3/4 cup scallion pesto. The pesto recipe is from my forthcoming book, The Kitchen Ecosystem.

For the Tuna
1 pound tuna, sliced into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pesto
1/2 cup chopped scallion greens (about ½ bunch)
3 tablespoons pignoli nuts
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt to taste

Heat the broiler to hot.

Marinate the tuna while you make the pesto. Combine the oil, lemon juice, rosemary leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Flip the tuna in the marinade, and let rest in the refrigerator while you make the pesto.


Marinating Tuna

To make, the pesto, combine the scallions, pignoli nuts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste in a food processor or blender. Process to a thick sauce. I like to leave it a bit on the coarse side, but a smooth puree is nice too.

Scallion pesto from the Kitchen Ecosystem

Place the tuna on a broiling pan and place under the broiler. Cook until golden on top and just opaque inside, a few minutes.

Serve the tuna with scallion pesto.

Green Bean and Mint Salad
Serves 4

Edward usually makes this dish about an hour before eating.

1 pound fresh string beans, snapped into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over a high heat. Add the beans and boil them until they are bright green and tender, but still snappy, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and run them under cold water to stop the cooking.

Toss the beans in a big serving bowl with 1/4 cup of mint, the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. When ready to serve, toss in the last 1/4 cup of mint (to be sure to have some perky-looking herbs on the plate).


4 Comments on “Green Bean and Mint Salad (Edward turns 88)

  1. Happy Birthday Edward, and many more. The meal sounds great- no photos of the blueberry tart?

  2. Happy Birthday to your dad! His cooking is inspired and healthful and not at all fussy……the way we all want to eat at home in the comfort of our families. I look forward to seeing many more of his recipes. I know he makes the best Bolognese anywhere.

  3. Happy Birthday to Edward! I’ve been a fan of Edward’s cooking for years — ever since coming across his recipes years ago in The New York Times — and now I’m a fan of his daughter as well. Thanks to you both for all your inspiring recipes.

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