Pumpkin agrodolce with almonds and spicy raisins (p.149)
I first imagined this as a side dish, but it really held its own as a lovely lunch for one. I used a burgess buttercup from the field (almost identical to the recommended kabocha) and hazelnuts. A refreshing alternative to the slog of squash soup recipes.
Celery, fennel and pear salad with pecorino and walnuts (P. 82)
This brilliant salad came together late at night (please excuse the dim lighting). I’ve made many variations of apple/fennel salads and this was a nice change. A salad for early fall. Everything here is in season, but the dish is refreshing enough for these 70 degree October days. Essential to use local, farm celery. Its the only way to get those tasty leaves.
Vanilla Panna Cotta (p. 310)
Far and away the best panna cotta recipe I’ve found. The amounts are precise and the results consistent. This is perfectly smooth, not overly firm, not too loose. I love it when recipes like this blow all my previous attempts at making something out of the water. I served it Los Poblanos style, with a drizzle of Old Monticello balsamic.
Eggplant with Ricotta Salata, Pine Nuts, and Mint (p .132)
This is a great not-middle-eastern use for eggplant. Kind of a slog to dress this without the eggplant going to mush, but a gentle hand pays off and I really loved the addition of mint. I think using the Japanese eggplant called for is key.
Pole Beans and Potatoes with Olives, Anchovies, and Egg (p. 134)
I’m back! This was less laborsome than expected and the results were lovely, but I’m not sure I would make this on a regular basis. I think it’s something about the shape of the beans vs. the shape of the potatoes and eggs that makes it kind of challenging to eat without getting splashed with the oil and vinegar.