The cold kept the fish out of the Greenmarket on Monday, so I had to come up with an alternative for dinner. I didn’t want it to be meat or a pasta, both of which we had enjoyed very recently, so I turned to a couple old favorites, salumi and risotto, to be served in succeeding courses.
So, yes, this was a northern Italian meal, including the a contribution from the most northern, formerly Austrian province.
Risotto means standing over a pot almost continuously for nearly half an hour, and it shouldn’t really sit around afterward, so there was a significant interval between courses (good conversation, music, and wine continued)
- La Quercia Speck Americano, described as ‘applewood-smoked prosciuto’ (3 ounces), from Foragers Market, drizzled with a little a good Umbrian olive oil (Luciana Cerbini Casa Gola) from Buon Italia, served with some kale micro greens from Lucky Dog Organic Farm and slices of a Bien Cuit sourdough ‘Campagne’, also from Foragers
- the wine was the last of the sparkling rosé we enjoyed the day before (the simple magic clutch cap from the Argyle vineyard we’ve had for decades maintains the fizz very well), a super Spanish (Penedès) sparkling rosé, Castellroig Cava Brut Rosat
- for a classic (‘classic’, especially in that more than with any other recipe I’ve ever researched, there is virtually no variation for this one) risotto Milanese, one cup of Campanini Riso Vialone Nano, 3 1/2 cups of stock reconstituted from Better Than Bullion organic roasted chicken base (a boon for all but the most ambitious cooks), one medium yellow organic onion from Norwich Meadows Farm, one cup of wine (California white, Miriam Alexandra Chenin Blanc 2015), a large pinch of Spanish saffron from Whole Foods, more than a tablespoon of ‘Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter‘, and a fourth of a cup (plus some shavings for garnish) of grated ‘Parmigiano Reggiano Bonat 3’ from Buon Italia
- the wine was a very good Italian (Alto Adige/Südtirol) white, St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio 2014 [the link is to a page on 67wine.com, from whom we had bought this wine in other years], purchased from Philippe Liquors, which is just down the street, so of course this Germanic Pinot Gris was almost ‘locavore’
- the music was Rossini’s ‘Le Comte Ory‘, Jesús Lopez-Cobos conducting the Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra and the Prague Chamber Chorus, with Stefania Bonfadelli, Juan Diego Flórez, Alastair Miles, and Marie-Ange Todorovitch