Monday, November 2, 2009
Sometimes Rome can be an awfully hard place to navigate. Between traffic jams, daily strikes, protest marches and continual road work the idea of getting in the car and driving to the farmer's market just makes me tired. That's why I was so thrilled to discover that on Saturday mornings the farmer will come to me.
A cooperative located on the Pontina called Officinae Bio will deliver a crate of just picked, seasonal fruits and vegetables right to your door.
About 10 kilos of loot for only 20 euros. No, I don't get to decide what goes into the crate. But that is the charm. Come Saturday morning, when Maurizio rings my bell and I carry my box of goodies up the stairs, it feels a bit like Christmas. Even though I paid for this bounty, it still feels like a gift and is always a surprise. And the fact that someone else is actually shouldering the burden of deciding what to cook this week is a joy.
Since it was October 31, my crate was especially heavy with a gorgeous Zucca d'Halloween. This, plus beets from last week made a scrumptious Sunday fall dinner.
Pumpkin Soup with Indian Spices
2 kilos pumpkin (or any kind of winter squash)
1 large onion
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 T. chopped ginger
1 t ground coriander
2 T ground cumin
1 t ground tumeric
1 t paprika
1/4 t. cayenne
1 c canned coconut milk
4 c broth or water
salt & pepper
Cut pumpkin into large slices without skinning. Rub with olive oil and roast at high heat till tender (about 45 minutes)
While pumpkin is cooking, saute finely chopped onion in olive oil. Add carrots, potato, ginger and garlic. Let cook for about 10 minutes till soft. Add spices and stir for a couple of minutes. Add salt and peper to taste.
Take cooked pumpkin out of oven and when cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and add to pot.
Add coconut mik and water. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
When everything is cooked through, puree. Add about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and serve.
1.5 pounds of fresh beets
1/4 c roasted almonds (or hanzlenuts)
1/3 c crumbled blue cheese
3 T. olive oil
2 t. balsamic vinegar
1 t molasses
To cook beets: wash, dry and rub with olive oil. Wrap each beet in tin foil (if small, wrap a few together) and roast till done in a hot oven. Can take from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the size of your beets.
Take out, let cool, and the skin should slip off.
Thinly slice beets and spread on platter.
Make dressing by whisking olive oil, vinegar and pomegranate. Taste and correct for tartness (should be pretty tart)
Pour over beets, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Crumble blue cheese over, and sprinkle with chopped nuts.