The growing season is not very long in New England; yesterday was the last farmer’s market in our neighborhood. It was an opportunity to go there, as well as to the year-round farm stand nearby to stock up on the abundant Fall harvest.
One of the ways I love to extract maximum flavor from vegetables is by braising. I have a few favorite cookbooks on the technique, and my #1 is Molly Stevens’ All About Braising. The two recipes I chose were Cauliflower, Potatoes and Peas Indian-Style, and End-of-Summer Green Beans Braised with Tomatoes.
I also boiled some baby beets and braised several young leeks in olive oil and white wine, then made a cashew cheese-like spread from raw organic cashews, water, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, sea salt and cilantro. These were all assembled into a first course salad, with fresh mesclun, topped with organic sauerkraut from the health food store.
I already had an open bottle of an Occhipinti (Lazio) Alea Viva, a light and luscious red wine — another beauty from Jan D’Amore — which matched beautifully.