As many of you know from my blog, I have been an ardent fan of Marcella Hazan’s cooking for many years. Tonight, however, my admiration reached new heights, with a relatively simple dish of baked vegetables. Only Marcella could coax so much flavor and delightful textures with such ease and grace.
Barbara was with our grandsons tonight, so I had license to make my own stuff. Today was one of those with breakfast at 11 AM, lunch at 3 PM, and dinner at 8 PM days — totally decadent, but fun.
I started with a salad. This was a riff on a long-popular Italian dish with white beans and chopped red onions. However, I happen to adore beets and other pickled vegetables along with the beans, so I raided the refrigerator and put a bunch of these together from available items, mostly homemade. Here are the ingredients:
Choosing a lettuce leaf from our season finale from our CSA for background (color and flavor), I ate two plates worth to begin the meal.
Since we became mostly vegan/vegetarian over 5 years ago, baked and roasted vegetables have held a prominent place in our cooking, especially in Fall and Winter. I’ve particularly enjoyed a variety of Greek dishes, along with some French and Italian, but nothing was as good as this one. The main course was the Misto di Verdure al Forno. Here’s her marvelous recipe from Marcella Cucina, with perfect instructions and insight:
Interestingly, the title on the page includes Mozzarella, but there was none in the recipe — nor should there be, in my opinion. I had a superb Pecorino from Calabria, from my last visit to Whole Foods, and that was the perfect cheese for this. The process was straightforward and absolutely delicious, just enough of each flavor and texture for a perfect balance. I hope you can almost taste the crispiness of the potatoes.
For wine I already had a bottle of Lamezia from Calabria open, so it was an easy, and appropriate, choice. And it looks great next to the cookbook!