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warm vegetable salad + a Meyer lemon whiskey sour

 
 
I love salads and sometimes I just crave a simple medley of warm vegetables tossed in a bit of citrus juice and topped off with some thin shavings of good cheese. This quick meal meets my needs. A handful of string beans gets sauteed in a hot pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Those get topped with thinly sliced caramelized shallot, and then the whole heap gets a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a grating of Parmesan, and a hefty amount of cracked black pepper. When paired with a simple, 3-ingredient cocktail, I'm in bliss. It's the simplest, most satisfying lunch for one, and the best part is that it feels incredibly gourmet and indulgent.
For the salad:
Warm vegetables get topped with charred Meyer lemon, grated Parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper. There is so much flavor in this simple combination of ingredients, you won't even miss conventional salad dressing.

A big handful of string beans, rinsed, patted dry, and trimmed
1 small shallot (or half of a large one), peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Half of a Meyer lemon, sliced into two thick discs
Grated Parmesan
Cracked black pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the beans with olive oil, salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until they have a bit of charred color but still have some crunch. Arrange the warm beans on a plate.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the shallot to the skillet, adding a touch more oil if needed, and a bit more salt and pepper. Saute the shallot, stirring often, for a few minutes until caramelized. Arrange the warm shallot on top of the beans.

Raise the heat to high. Place the lemon pieces in the skillet and gently press down on them to coax a bit of color into the flesh. After only a couple of minutes, there will be a bit of deep char on the lemon; remove from the pan and squeeze some of the warm juice over the beans and shallot. Garnish the plate with the other lemon disc. Finish the salad off with Parmesan and cracked pepper.

For the whiskey sour:
This is a 3-ingredient cocktail that's incredibly simple to prepare. You can add a simple syrup if you like, but personally I don't care for my cocktails to be too sweet. This one, to me, is perfectly satisfying.

1.5 oz (1 shot glass) bourbon whiskey
.75 oz (1/2 shot glass) amaretto
The juice of half of a Meyer lemon

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with lots of ice. Shake well and strain into a serving glass. Garnish with a piece of Meyer lemon peel.

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