Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thank you, Mark Bittman.

Another hit this week in the Dining Section (link). What can I say, this guy knows my taste! Especially when it comes to #29 down the list. Agridulce is my thing: pairing sweet with bitter or sour into a savory dish.

Bittman writes: "#29. Pit and halve cherries (or halve and pit cherries), then cook gently with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar until they break down. Toss with chopped radicchio, endive, escarole or a combination, some toasted hazelnuts and more oil and vinegar, if necessary."

And I make:
You needn't worry about exact measurements with this sort of thing. But a few friendly pointers: After you toast the hazelnuts (at 375 on a baking sheet) let them cool somewhat and then rub the skins off with a clean, dry towel before you chop the nuts and add them to the salad. The skins are bitter - and not in a good way - and get awkwardly plastered to the back of your throat and in between your teeth. Also, he doesn't specify how long you cook the cherries down in balsamic, but i'd give them a good 15 minutes and use more than just a little balsamic so that it reduces down to a nice sweet syrup.

Eat this with some crunchy-chewy grains, like barley or farro, and pretend you're a vegetarian in Sicily!

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