More tales from the farmers market.
Searching the cupboards for inspiration last weekend, I found a small package of white beans I bought from a farmer last fall. After the antique lentil experience over New Year's I thought I'd better use them up. So I set them to soak overnight and asked my sister what to make. Once we'd discussed the usual white beans, escarole and sausage stew (which is totally amazing but somewhat boring right now) she suggested Ribolita, using the recipe from the Junior League cookbook from San Francisco.
I followed the recipe closely, but not exactly because that would be silly. You make a vegetable swamp with onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, kale, spinach and fennel in chicken broth. Cook the white beans and puree about half of them with more chicken broth. Put the swamp and the bean mash together, add more chicken broth and let it sit over night. Not essential, just the way my life was working that day.
When you are ready to finish it, you put half of the soup in a casserole, layer slices of crusty bread on top, grate a mess of parmesian on it, then top with the remaining soup and another slug of parmesian. The recipe wants you to top it with thinly sliced onions but I thought they might get dried out, so skipped that part. Bake for an hour or so.
Holy catfish, Robin, this is amazing. You will not believe how silky smooth the bread gets, and how rich and flavorful the vegetables are. How can vegetables taste this good?
Photos are in the camera, not the computer so will try to edit later to include them.
PS I miss the Olympics…