Sea Bean Vinaigrette

I visit San Francisco at least once a year to visit with family and friends and to indulge in the amazing cultural scene there.  This time it was the Frida Kahlo show at SFMOMA and Dale Chihuly at the DeYoung and lots and lots of dining out for R & D.  One stop I always make is the Ferry Building Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings. 

It's a cook's playground and I just love to get my hands on the specialty produce and food stuffs offered here.  The mushroom stand boasts all kinds of exotic varieties: some look like coral reefs and others like miniature alien dwellings.  I inevitably see something new at this farmers' market and this time it was the sea beans at the mushroom stand.  They are small salty crunchy bamboo-looking sticks.  This is where my dinner salad all came together: roasted peppers, basil leaves, red leaf lettuce, sautéed shitakes, and now sea beans.  I would make an Asian-Italian fusion salad!  I decided to use the sea beans in the vinaigrette to best showcase their flavor and texture.  
Serves 6

- ¼ cup sea beans, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pulse sea beans and lemon juice in a food processor.  Slowly add the olive oil in a very thin stream until emulsified.  Add sugar as needed and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

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