The story of Jack and the Beanstalk goes something like this:
Jack swaps a cow for some magic beans. Jack plants beans. Enormous beanstalk develops that stretches all the way to the clouds. Jack climbs the beanstalk (several times, in fact) and does a spot of breaking-and-entering at the home of a local giant (identifiable as such by both general size and the fact that he says fee-fi-fo-fum a lot). Jack gets himself into much trouble as a result. In the end, the beanstalk gets it.
Now, my theory is that Jack wasn’t so much in possession of magic beans but, rather, had applied too much manure to his vegetable patch. I base this on the fact that my garden is now home to several rather enthusiastic beanstalks which, I suspect, would extend all the way to the clouds if only I could find bamboo poles tall enough to support them. Instead, my french bean plants have chosen to wrap themselves around each other, weaving quite a tangled web in the process (which is probably just as well, because I would rather they didn’t head skyward and become a point of entry for visiting giants).
On the edge of the french bean tangle
Ok. The sun is out. I think it might be safe to make a salad.
A bean salad with a cider vinaigrette to be precise. Just because.
Well, no, not really just because. There is method in my saladness.
Sometimes an idea grabs you and you simply have to down tools and run with it.
In amongst the plethora of food blog posts that showed up in my browser today, something quite simple stopped me in my tracks, namely this post for mock tuna salad on Nomadic Gourmet. What grabbed me wasn’t the recipe per se but the idea of it, which was simply this: make a salad from lightly mashed chickpeas and then dress it as you would a tuna salad. Just that.
Now, I have cooked and eaten veritable truckloads of chickpeas in my time, but this was actually an entirely new one on me. I should also explain that it’s a long time since I’ve eaten tuna. Not only that, but tuna salad sandwiches were one of the things that I imagined I would really miss when I took up a vegetarian diet. I was going to have to give this a whirl and soon.