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Saturday
Mar162013

Last Gasp of Winter (I hope) Menu

Italian plum and port wine tart Really? Snow less than a week before Spring? Okay, one more warming soup, this one for company.

This is a great, pretty quick vegan soup from Mario Batali that first appeared in Food & Wine. To make the meal we put out slices of a crusty baguette, two cheeses (sottocenere and an asiago fresca), olives, apple slices and Italian dry salami, as well as an herby salad with a walnut oil and lemon dressing.  And an Italian plum tart with port wine for dessert.

 

Yes, burning a candle near your cutting board keeps the onions from making you cry! (h/t to America's Test Kitchen)MIXED VEGETABLE AND FARRO SOUP

  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  3. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  4. 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
  5. 1 cup farro or wheat berries
  6. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  7. 2 quarts water
  8. One 15-ounce can borlotti or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  9. 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  10. 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
  1. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until softened, 5 minutes.
  2. Add the farro and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the grains are coated and shiny, 30 seconds.
  3. Add 1 quart of the water and the beans and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and the remaining 1 quart of water. Cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender, 30 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, cover and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, top with the basil and serve.

The tart had a basic pie crust dough (from Martha Stewart) pressed into the pan and the filling of plums, sugar and cinnamon was similar to the roasted fruit recipe in Smart Chefs (with the addition of corn starch to thicken), and a reduction of port wine with sugar and molasses.

 

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