One hot summer Sunday afternoon, I walked into Lidia Bastianich’s house to find a glass of chilled champagne and a dish of beans and caviar on the kitchen counter. Fortunato, the wonderful chef of her New York restaurant Felidia, was grilling bread, which he handed us as soon as it was ready and on top of which we slathered the beans and caviar.
Lidia is one of the few chefs who know that refrigerating a dish can quite often kill it, causing the disparate but connected perfumes and tastes to turn into one smell, one taste. So she hadn’t refrigerated these beans after they were cooked, knowing they would be consumed within an hour or so.
She also knew to take the cooling time into account when figuring the cooking time of the beans.
Stir in the caviar and serve on grilled hot toasts. Offer the salt separately.
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