Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ruth Reichl's 70s Pumpkin Soup

This isn't a soup, actually, it's more like a gratin baked right inside the pumpkin. I was 21, and I didn't care that it was incredibly rich. Today I mix the cream with chicken broth (about a cup and a half of cream to about a cup of broth). It's STILL pretty much of a heart-stopper but it's irresistible.

Another helpful hint: If you brush the outside of the pumpkin with oil, it will look better when it emerges.

Go out and buy a fairly small pumpkin with a flat bottom. Cut off the top, as if you were going to carve a jack-o-lantern, and hollow it out. Spread the seeds out and dry them to eat later.

Now get a good loaf of French bread, slice it and toast it lightly. Grate a goodly amount of one of the Swiss cheeses (Emmenthaler, Gruyere or Appenzeller). Layer the toast and cheese inside the pumpkin until it's almost fill. Then fill the pumpkin up with cream. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, replace the top of the pumpkin and bake in a 300 degree oven for about 2 hours.

Bring the whole pumpkin to the table. When you serve it be sure to scoop out the pumpkin flesh with the cheese and the cream. Serve with a light second course.

From Mmmmmmmm: A Feastiary

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

White Bean Salad

I call for a citrus olive oil in this recipe (I used the ruby grapefruit olive oil from O Olive Oils. Orange or Lemon would likely be nice as well (and more readily available). In a pinch, an alternative would be to use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil along with some citrus zest.

  • 2 big handfuls baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 2 cans white cannellini beans (or freshly cooked equivalent)
  • 2 handfuls walnuts, toasted
  • a couple glugs of citrus-flavored olive oil
  • a small splash of champagne vinegar
  • a few pinches fine-grained sea salt
  • a bit of crumbled cheese (manouri, goat cheese work nicely)

Rinse and drain the beans. If you like your bean salad on the warm side, my shortcut for heating them up is to run them under hot water (saves having to wash a pot).

In a large bowl combine the spinach, beans and walnuts. Add the olive oil, a splash of champagne vinegar, and salt. Toss gently but make sure you get everything nicely coated. Sprinkle a bit of cheese on top and enjoy.

Serves 4.

from 101 Cookbooks