Lunchtime Surprises

These days I love lunchtime.  It’s an ideal time to resurrect leftovers or create new dishes with many of my favorite foods.  I am also finding that if I have one glass of wine at lunch   and a second glass at dinner, I don’t need a nap after lunch, nor do I snooze at the table after dinner.  Today was another of those good days.

We have some Prosciutto I got delivered from Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge recently.  It is sliced a little too thick for my taste as an antipasto, but it works well when cut into thin slivers in cooking (as I did last night in a side dish of sautéed spinach with garlic).  A quick search in my Italian cookbooks produced this recipe for a Wild Mushroom Frittata with Prosciutto, so that was my choice for lunch dish (using just 5 eggs).

At the same time, I had been thinking about making a traditional Mediterranean tuna salad with the Tuna Conserva made a few days earlier.  To that end, I had taken some older dried white beans (Controne) and cooked them yesterday.  That was a task in itself.  Normally, dried beans which have been soaked overnight will get cooked the next day in 60-90 minutes.  These were old enough to need more than 3 hours, but they were safely in the refrigerator, ready to use this morning.  I had a small piece of Tuna Conserva (about 1/3 lb.), so it was easy to assemble the salad, once I chose the ingredients and cut everything into 1/2″ dice.

Surprise #1:  The Tuna Salad was superb, the highlight of the meal, and I needed a second helping to fully appreciate it.

Surprise #2: The wine I selected, a 1990 Dorigo Refosco from Friuli, was astonishingly good.   It was rich, full-bodied, and full of fruit.  Somehow I had the expectation that it would be past its prime and not particularly interesting.  Once again, the only way to know about a wine is to drink it.  Here is a 30-year old wine from Friuli worthy of note, and a very fine accompaniment to both dishes on my lunch plate.



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