A few years ago during a cycling trip in Sardinia, we fell in love with simple desserts that feature ricotta. I think Jody’s heart was still in Sardinia for this treat, but her head was in England, imaging fruit fools, simple summer concoctions of whipped cream layered with whatever fruit is in season. The result …
Here’s the scene: working-class neighborhood, first house, first back yard, first patio. Radical move against the local pave-the-yard-build-a-grape-arbor esthetic. We christened the patio’s finish by inviting neighbors Pam and Chris to join us for Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco. At the time, almost two decades ago, I’d heard of Romesco, the thick Catalan sauce based on roasted red peppers and nuts, but not grilled spring onions, which my wife assured me was a big deal in Barcelona. She was right. The Calçotada is a month-long Barcelonan lovefest to calçots, spring onions, which are then grilled and slathered with Romesco. Imagine a sloppy Falstaffian bender lasting most of April, involving untold quantities of red wine and masses of fragrant grilled onions wrapped in newspapers or served in inverted clay roofing tiles and eaten with your hands. Uh-huh, who isn’t down for that?
On the Greek Island of Ikaria a startling number of people live to be 100, or older. Dan Buetner has identified five communities with unusually long-living residents, geographic regions he calls Blue Zones@. For the next five weeks–because we don’t like New Year’s resolutions–we’re bringing you healthy dishes from the culinary cultures of the Blue Zones. First up, Sardinia, with Fava Bean and Almond Soup. Simple, easy, delicious. Oh, and you might even live to be 100.
We’re going to switch things up this week for Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Dukkah. Normally you read a title like that and you think, Okay, this is about cauliflower, and then it’s about dukkah, whatever the hell that is. It would then follow that we’d spend a lot of time nattering on about cauliflower and give you a little dukkah sub-recipe (we’re not sophisticated enough to have a site that features sidebars… yet).
But this week the cauliflower is just a tease, a way of filling the seats inside the tent so we have an audience for dukkah, the exotic headliner who’s come all the way from Egypt, an aromatic mixture of toasted nuts and seeds gussied up with a few fragrant accents.