Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Spring supper on the terrace

Last week, there was the first dinner on our replanted, spring terrace, the last there with friends who were leaving too soon for us to enjoy it all just once again, before our final departure from the flat in which we've spent the last two and a half years.

It had been pleasantly warm, mild, luminous. It was all to be simple and vegetarian. There were lovely baby artichokes at Fairway, so we bought eight of those, and prepared them alla romana - stuffed with chopped parsley, mint and a bit of garlic, and cooked in olive oil and water, for a good half hour or more. They came out quite tasty, sweet, and melting enough - except for a few leaves I should have cut off. The main was simply pasta - trofie al pesto, as classic as it gets. Real trofie (though made in Puglia rather than Liguria, I think), cooked with radiant green beans. The pesto itself was the usual lovely stuff: basil, parmigiano, manchego (instead of pecorino, it's milder, softer), pine nuts barely toasted, the whole thing in the mixer with salt, and the olive oil only at the end; no garlic (the first time I realized how superior it was without garlic was at Gloria's; since then, I never even looked back). Then there was a simple summer "Israeli" salad - cubed cucumber and tomato, romaine lettuce, radishes, black olives, lots of mint, with a simple lemon juice and a olive oil dressing. No one was in the mood for much more after that, though some ice-cream from Grom was produced.

Let's hope we manage a few more terrace dinners before packing up and leaving the much loved plants.


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