Saturday, September 8, 2007
First, a word about vegetables. As I've mentioned, I'm in a Crop Share program where I pick up half a box of vegetables every Thursday. I always thought I ate a lot of vegetables, but I have to say it's been a trial to get through all the ones I've picked up so far this summer. The boxes seem to be getting bigger every week, and it's getting harder and harder to make my way down to the bottom of the vegetable bin before I'm hit with another half-ton of organic wonders. Thus, we had end-of-the summer vegetable soup with pistou. I used broccoli, onions, carrots, potatoes, scallions, three kinds of peppers, tomatoes, parsley, kale, and basil. After all that, I still have eggplant (a challenge to disguise since Jim claims to hate eggplant), cabbage, more potatoes, more onions, and a butternut squash.
Well, of course, with soup, one must have bread.
I'm always looking for new recipes from Rose, and found one on her website that I haven't made yet. (She really is going to have to get going on another bread cookbook). She calls this "fantastic focaccia." It's pretty much like a regular focaccia except it's made with sourdough starter, which I happen to have in my refrigerator, and caramelized onions, which I adore, and which offered a means of using up two onions. The recipe actually calls for a soft starter, but I just added a little more liquid to my dough and it was fine. It's really quite easy, and it has a great texture, with lovely, unevenly shaped holes.
Rose's technique for caramelizing onions is to steam them in olive oil on very low heat for a good half hour, then take off the lid, and slowly let them brown. Two largeish onions become reduced to less than half a cup of beautifully golden essence of onion-ness. The bread went perfectly with the soup, which I served with a big dollop of pistou (just like pesto only without the nuts). Jim ate a few bites of soup and pronounced it "wonderful." Then he bit into the bread and said, "This is better than wonderful."
Now what the hell am I going to do with that eggplant?