I’m cheating here, because this isn’t entirely cooked in the oven, but the brief roasting is what helps Brussels sprouts achieve their optimum potential, instead of waterlogging them in a saucepan. I ate a similar dish at Rotisserie Georgette in New York—a restaurant that specializes in roast chicken—then came straight home and made this. It’s been a regular in my house ever since, and not just at Christmas.
The sauce here is rather like a vegetarian version of the Piedmontese anchovy sauce, bagna cauda (though it’s even more umami-packed). It’s not one of those vegetable recipes that feels like a side dish, where you keep searching for the focus, but has enough different flavors and textures from each vegetable to be layered and surprising.
I’ve heard that when we’re taking good care of ourselves, our bodies crave what they need. Well mine must need whatever is in this salad, because I find myself dreaming about it weekly! I’m also in a phase where I like to combine sweeter, richer foods like sweet potatoes and squash with a tart punch of citrus to balance things. This salad hits all of the right notes, and because it’s served at room temperature, you can make it the morning of and enjoy it all day long!
I describe chimichurri sauce as “parsley pesto” to people who have never had it before. I prefer using curly parsley over flat-leaf for its fresh grassy-green flavor. Flat leaf tastes a little like cilantro to me and is less versatile.
Cooking it with love, slowly over a low heat, brings out the flavour of the black lentils and black cardamom and results in a rich, intense, deep taste.
In wintertime and early spring in Puglia, locals combine their winter stores of dried fava beans with peppery wild chicory into a satisfying, hearty dish. Dried fava beans are typically cooked until they can be mashed into a smooth puree and then topped with sautéed chicory dressed simply with olive oil and salt. Wild chicory isn’t commonplace in American markets, but we still embraced the dish’s humble roots by using more readily available escarole, which is a member of the chicory family: It's easy to find, quick cooking, and offers a similar pleasant bitterness. To amp up flavor and add brightness to the dish, we added chili flakes and lemon zest to the greens, which balanced out the bitter notes. With the greens settled, we turned our attention to creating a smooth, silky puree from the fava beans. Potato is a traditional addition to this dish, as it lends a smooth, unctuous texture; we found that adding just one potato to the pot with the beans was enough to achieve the consistency we were after. Rather than mash the cooked fava beans and potato with a potato masher, we passed them through a food mill or potato ricer to ensure a silky smooth texture. Finally, we finished the dish with shaved Pecorino for a salty bite that enhanced the complex, earthy flavors of the fava beans.
What makes these potatoes Venetian is simply the frequency with which I have seen them prepared in this manner in the homes of Giardini. The shape of the cut potatoes sometimes varies (thick disks are quite popular) but I much prefer the dice shape. The consistent features are the melted onions and the unctuous syrupy stock sauce. I wouldn’t worry too much about the type of potato, either. With waxy varieties, the dice holds its shape much better and the slightly yellow hue is a little more attractive. But floury spuds disintegrate a tad more, so the sauce has more viscosity, giving a fuller, deeper flavor. I love them both ways.
Crispy on the outside, soft and speckled with flavorful goodness on the inside. There really isn’t anything to dislike about the stuffing muffin. Try em out on your Thanksgiving guests this year and prepare for the compliments to roll into the new year. :)
A little sweet potato kneaded into yeasted dough makes rolls extra soft and sweet. Down South, we like our bread so tender that it’s sometimes on the edge of underbaked. I affectionately call thoses quishy rolls. These orange-tinted rounds can—and should—be baked all the way through. They’ll end up as supple as any squishy ones.