Every Friday, one of our local grocery stores sells rotisserie chickens for five dollars, and they call it the Five Buck Cluck. This past summer, we’ve started a tradition of buying a chicken to go with some of our CSA vegetables, which arrive on Thursday evenings. The Barefoot Contessa roasted chicken will be featured here shortly, but for now, it’s so nice to have that one predictable piece of the meal when we’re experimenting with new ingredients and recipes with all of these vegetables. The bonus: our toddler eats rotisserie chicken like it’s candy. Also, we don’t have to turn on the oven on a hot summer night. One recent Friday, the Five Buck Cluck was accompanied by Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower (Barefoot Contessa at Home, p. 146) and String Beans with Shallots (Barefoot Contessa Family Style, p. 115).
Cauliflower has never been a favorite at our house, but we’ve been eating a lot of it this summer because of its ubiquitousness in our CSA boxes. I love broccoli, but I could never get all that excited about cauliflower, probably because I’d only ever had it steamed or raw. I’d tolerate it, but I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it. I should have known that roasting it would change my opinion, and adding cheese would seal the deal. I’m not sure I’d ever roasted a vegetable until I read The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, but it has definitely broadened my horizons. This recipe will definitely be repeated at our house, and we might actually look forward to the next head of cauliflower that comes in the door.
Next up: string beans with shallots. Unlike cauliflower, I could eat string beans raw, steamed, or roasted. I could eat them plain or covered in goo. I prefer them to be slightly crunchy and not mushy, but I’ve been known to eat my share of overcooked beans, too. This recipe is a great mixture: crispy green beans with a tasty shallot topping. Shallots are a wonderful mix of onions and garlic, and we’ve gotten a great plenty of them in our CSA boxes this summer. The beans, which started out purple, steamed into a nice green color, just until they were lightly cooked. My grandparents used to grow purple beans in their garden, and I haven’t seen any beans that color since then until they started showing up in our CSA boxes this summer. To me, they taste the same as ordinary green beans, but it’s so fun to watch them change color. The crispy shallots added a nice flavor and texture to the beans, and they even helped my born-and-raised-in-North-Carolina husband tolerate the crispness of the beans, which he usually prefers to be a lot less al dente.