Small plates – 14 June 2011

OK, to use up the radicchio from Monday’s pasta, I could buy some prosciutto and wrap and grill radicchio wedges. Then to use up the prosciutto, I could make a pizza… But what to have along with the radicchio and prosciutto? There’s a bit more goat cheese I need to use – I could make that Cafe Fanny salad with baked goat cheese rounds. Hm. Two items that should be served over lettuce and vinaigrette? Well, I suppose I could put them together. One more… one more… a veggie? There’s asparagus left over – and what could be easier than steaming it, chilling it, and serving with an aioli over the top? OK, we got a plan 🙂

The radicchio wrapped with prosciutto and grilled (medium, covered, three sides about 3-5 mins each) we first had at l’Osteria del Forno in San Fransisco – one of our favorite restaurants. The goat cheese salad is in the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, which I think is the first from that restaurant. You marinate goat cheese patties in olive oil and thyme overnight, coat in bread crumbs with dried thyme, and bake at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes, then serve over lettuce (preferably including cool stuff like arugula) tossed in a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. The asparagus I steamed for 5 minutes and then cooled in cold water (two iterations – it warmed the first quite quickly) then drained and put into the fridge for the afternoon. The aioli was a casual following of a recipe from Georgeanne Brennan’s Potager: I used about 1/3 cup plain old Hellman’s mayonnaise from Costco, one minced garlic clove, a bunch of thyme from the garden, and quite a bit of olive oil to thin and flavor it. I didn’t use all of this tonight – the rest is in the fridge. The teensy plate has two kalamata and two Nicoise olives, and one radish cut into a rose in Mom-fashion, and set in water in the fridge to open 🙂

D had opened a wine last night before I told him I had bought one for the dinner. He capped it with this bizarre little electric pump thingy that his dad P had gotten us. Fun gadget – it actively pumps the air out; then when enough has leaked back in, it turns on again. A buzz emanates from the kitchen, and everyone wonders what the heck it’s about… Anyway, it seems to do a decent job of protecting opened wine, so D felt ok about recorking the bottle. So we had that tonight – one we’ve had before, from Trader Joe’s. Good taste, good price.

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