A few nights ago I made dinner for the first time in a week. It was one of my favorite ways to cook. Select very good ingredients; prepare each in a way that highlights its best features; then put the pieces together into an effective whole. I have no pictures of this event, but here’s a summary:
Primo — Crispy Browned Baby Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Beets with Whole-Grain Mustard lightened with Tofutti Sour Cream
Secondo — Ragout of Eggplant, Artichokes, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Green Beans, served on Slices of Baked Potato Rounds
Vino — 2011 Laura Aschero Pigato, from Liguria
Pre-roasting or pan searing those ingredients individually paid off handsomely in flavor. Adding a little thyme, oregano and pimenton to the ragout helped as well.
But that dinner is not the subject of this post. I give you all that information only as a prelude, to say that’s how I happened to have some leftover ragout in the refrigerator today, which became a simple lunch of discovery.
First, I coarsely chopped the vegetables in the ragout, and then spruced them up with some salted capers which were marinated overnight in olive oil. Then I grilled some thick slices of a multigrain bread I made recently (whole wheat, semolina flour, einkorn, rye and white bread flour). Rubbed fresh garlic on the toasted bread. Added a layer of Cream of Peppers and Eggplant (purchased at Di Palo in NY). Layered the ragout on top. Served with a wine I found at one of my wine suppliers last week, a 2009 Vid Sur, made in the Canary Islands from Tinto Negramoll grapes, imported by Jose Pastor. Benissimo.