Not vegan. But very good, and the vegetables were much more than just supporting stars.
I had gone to Eataly to pick up a loaf of bread, and some mint. The night before that, Friday, we had enjoyed fish, and the Saturday night I found myself at Eataly there would be a totally vegetarian pasta on the table. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pick up fresh seafood for Sunday’s dinner, so I had been thinking of defrosting a small amount of meat, either a duck breast or two lamb chops, for the two of us. I hadn’t committed myself to either, and I suppose I had left myself open to being distracted by the bounty I knew awaited at our almost embarrassingly-blue-ribbon local Italian food outlet.
I bought some sausage.
Barry had recently mentioned that locally-sourced sausage might be an attractive alternative to our more usual entrées, so when I spotted the little sign inside the meat display case which read, ‘wild boar sausage’, which also included information on its origin, it felt like it was a natural.
My next assignment was to figure how to combine it with the very specific supply of vegetables I had available. I was still improvising up to the moment I plated the sausage and the vegetables, but I think I did myself proud, and I was surprised that I was able to come up with what seemed like a fairly Italian meal in the end.
- four links (12 ounces) of wild South Texas boar sausage from Toro Ranch, of Broken Bow, Texas, found at Eataly, pan-grilled for about 20-25 minutes
- Black Turtle beans from Norwich Meadows Farm, washed, shelled, added to a pot in which sliced shallots from John C. Madura Farms and sliced fresh garlic from Lucky Dog Organic had been sautéed in olive oil for about 3 minutes, water then added to cover, the mix cooked for about 15 minutes, and a generous handful of sage (whole leaves) from Norwich Meadows Farm added to the beans in the now-reduced liquid before the legumes were put on plates, the sausage placed on top and painted with a modified mustard
- the sauce for the rich boar links was thrown together at the last-minute, a mix of roughly equal parts, Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard, Holly Schmitt’s Homemade Horseradish, and Berkshire Berries’ Horseradish Jelly [the last two found in the Union Square Greenmarket, both within recent weeks]
- baby yellow squash from Berried Treasures, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt an pepper, grilled on a large cast iron pan, finished with torn leaves of mint from Eataly, and a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a California red, F. Stephen Millier Black Label Reserve Petite Sirah Calaveras County 2013
- the music was Francesco Maria Veracini’s, ‘Sonate Accademiche‘