Monday, June 30, 2008

The summeriest meal around

Tonight we had a gazpacho of sorts: shallots cut into whisper-thin salad slices and macerated in 2-3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar along with minced basil and salt; then added the seeds, juice, and flesh from a tomato I concassed and diced; let it sit for an hour or so at room temp while making the rest of dinner, tasted for seasoning, ladled into bowls, then drizzled with my fancy Pasolivo olive oil just before serving. It was on the magnificent side of wonderful, with the acid and salt countering the sweetness of the tomatoes and basil just so.

I got the shallot-vinegar-herbs idea from Peter Berley in one of our classes - he used it to dress roasted peppers, and mentioned that with tomatoes, it would make a nice gazpacho. And so it did.

Our main course was risotto with shelled peas (the biggest ones I've ever seen) and spinach, with Parmigiano and butter added to finish; I liberally sprinkled minced parsley over each serving, which really highlighted the fresh taste of the summer vegetables. An hour later, we upped the summeriness ante even more with a few handfuls of Tristar strawberries (eaten in front of the TV while watching House on DVD, naturally).

The gazpacho was wonderful! If only acidic foods didn't give both of us tummyaches, I would make it constantly this summer. But so it goes - this lovely healthful dish will have to be only an occasional treat.

Today I'll be making potato salad with the lovely "just dug" red new potatoes I bought at the Greenmarket yesterday, made with a dressing incorporating Mean Beans brine. More on this later.

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