Local favorites

Posted by Anita on 06.16.08 6:30 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**I had a funny conversation last week with a co-worker about the definition of summer. She contended — not entirely without justification — that summer starts on the solstice (June 20) and ends on the equinox (September 22).

With all due respect to the astronomically inclined, the gap between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the time that seems most summery to me. Spring’s icons — asparagus, artichokes, peas — are on their way out with the end of the school-year, and tomatoes, peaches, and blackberries are bursting into full swing. By the end of the month, we’ll have local corn at the market… a taste of deep summer if there ever was one.

Our One Local Summer meal this week included some old local favorites: a roast Hoffman Farms chicken with herb butter rubbed under the skin, a bottle of Le Printemps rose. We said goodbye to this year’s baby artichokes with a simple Tuscan-style preparation from Molto Italiano, and we tossed together a simple orzo-and-garbanzo side, studded with Laura Chenel chevre. Everything but the salt and pepper came from within our local foodshed, and a few bits — the herbs and the citrus — came from our own garden.

While the chicken roasted, we staved off our hunger with this riff on a recipe we’d seen in Food & Wine a few months back. Truthfully, this recipe isn’t the most summery combination — you could make it all year ’round, and we loved it so much that I’m sure we will. But being able to pop a few slices of well-oiled artisan bread on the grill at a moment’s notice is another sure sign of summer at our house.

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

Bruschetta with Ricotta and Salami
- adapted from Food & Wine, April 2008

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
3T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
6 thick slices of peasant-style bread (about 1/2-inch thick)
One Local Summer 20081 clove garlic, whole
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
2T balsamic vinegar
3oz spicy salami (hot sopressata, Spanish chorizo, etc.), sliced thin
1T chopped parsley
2 cups of frisee, tender white and light-green leaves only

Put the ricotta in a fine sieve or a cheesecloth-lined colander, and set the strainer over a bowl. Cover the whole setup with a towel or parchment, and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, discard the liquid in the bowl. Wipe out the bowl, and combine the ricotta and 1T olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the red onion slices with the vinegar and set aside.

Preheat a grill or broiler. Brush both sides of each bread slice with olive oil and grill until toasted. Rub the grilled toasts with the whole garlic clove, and set aside. Drain the vinegar from the onions.

Heat the remaining 2T oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the sausage, minced garlic, and parsley, and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Spread the seasoned ricotta on the toasts, then top with the warm sausage mixture. Garnish with the frisee and pickled onions.

locavore, One Local Summer, recipes
11 Comments »

 

11 Comments

Comment by cookiecrumb

Summer? Already? I can do this.

(I got a new treat for you: The flowering tops of onion plants are WICKED GOOD to eat. I’ll bring you some.)

Posted on 06.17.08 at 12:16PM

Comment by Joan

So, speaking of grilling, we had a big discussion on Father’s day about charcoal versus gas. And, I am wondering where you two come down on that question. Do you have a preference?

Posted on 06.17.08 at 8:34PM

Comment by Chris

This is random and off topic, but how and/or where did you get the ice cubes pictured here: [broken link deleted]
I’ve been looking everywhere for ice cube trays to make BIG perfectly square ice, and this appears to be pretty much what I’m looking for.

Thanks

Posted on 06.18.08 at 9:09AM

Comment by Tartelette

What a lovely meal! The kind I love in the summer! You would be so proud of me as I have been growing lettuce, tomatoes, tons of herbs and dinner has more than often been caught at the dock (crabs)!….and for the icing on the cake: we installed a giant container in the garage hooked up to the gutters and are no recycling rain water for the yard :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Posted on 06.18.08 at 1:12PM

Comment by Erinn

I agree about grilling equalling summer! We cook on the grill at least 3 times a week and it’s nice to have a new recipe to choose from. This looks really fresh and delicious.
Thanks for the great ideas (and photos)

Posted on 06.18.08 at 2:50PM

Comment by Anita

Cookie: Mm, I can’t wait!

Joan: Funny you should ask. I wrote a little blurb about it on my Daily Green column last week. Short version — and please don’t tell Biggles — is we use gas… although it’s more for convenience than ecology, I have to admit. We also have a smoker, but it doesn’t get used nearly as often as we’d like.

Chris: Your image link is broken, but I presume you mean the square cubes we use in most of our on-the-rocks shots. They’re made in a silicon Tovolo mold. Our local Whole Foods sells them, as does Amazon. But they’re not huge… just perfectly square. If you want one huge cube (actually, sphere), then you want this Japanese gizmo. Pain in the ass to use, but it does work.

Tartlette: I am proud of you anyway, but that sounds delicious! And I am very jealous of your rainwater bins!

Erinn: We grill all year ’round, but there’s something magical about coming home on a weeknight and popping open the grill before the sun sets.

Posted on 06.18.08 at 4:17PM

Comment by RebeccaC

My Goodness that looks delicious. We don’t have any outdoor space in our condo, and I really miss grilling…I actually just bought a stovetop la plancha grill as a substitute but its still note the same. Although these bruchetta might work out okay. I’ll have to try it. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

Posted on 06.19.08 at 10:24AM

Comment by matt wright

Looks fantastic!Great photography too.

Posted on 06.23.08 at 5:17PM

Comment by Susan/Wild Yeast

You may have eaten this bruschetta as a starter, but it looks like it could be a meal in itself! Fantastic.

Posted on 06.23.08 at 6:46PM

Comment by jack

nice call on the le printemps. the saisons du vins series is terrific!

Posted on 06.30.08 at 6:46PM

Pingback by Ricotta and Sopressata Bruschetta - avocadopesto

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