Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dinner with an Old Friend

Friend might be the wrong word for Jessica. After living together three out of four years of college, family might be a better word. I made the trip to San Francisco for three things dear to my heart, Jessica being one of them, Sophia Project (where I served in AmeriCorps) and Slow Food Nation being the other two. In celebration of two of the three (Slow Food and Jessica) I made dinner.

Jessica and I went to a wonderful local foods market in Palo Alto with a list of ingredients for the menu I had planned. The produce was in such abundance that we abandoned the menu and just picked what looked good. The resulting meal was a celebration of the ripest fruits and vegetables and based on a couple very exciting ingredients. First were the fava beans which I lightly steamed then added garlic, olive oil, and salt. The resulting butteriness was satisfying and comforting while light enough for the day's heat. We also bought some golden beats. Golden beets are my favorite thing from my grandpa's garden. This year they were too much for him, so the golden beats were a special treat that we roasted and sliced on a platter with red beets. The color contrast was beautiful.

Rhubarb is the last of our special ingredients. When I was little my dad used to make great rhubarb upside down cake for picnics. It's the only things I remember him making besides rice and peas, and is also something I've been craving since spring time in Italy. This was the first time I've come across it. This time I simply roasted it in the oven with some honey and raw sugar. It was wonderfully sweet and bitter, much like my dad's cake. Except without the cake there was nothing to temper the bitterness and round out the flavor. A butter or shortbread cookie would've done so nicely while adding textural intrigue, unfortunately we didn't have any. Though this morning we added it to our cereal and it was wonderful: a slight rhubarb obsession has begun.

And as for Jessica, she's an oldie, but a goodie.

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