Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A summer weekend meal

From the book South Wind Through the Kitchen: the Best of Elizabeth David, this is a delectable, simple summer weekend meal. It's called "Giulia's Tomato Sauce and Dry Rice."

Chop fresh tomatoes, and put them in a bowl with olive oil, wine vinegar -- I used simply wine -- salt, pepper, and "a scrap of onion." All proportions are entirely up to you. Prepare the mixture two hours in advance, and just before serving stir in a pinch of sugar. You are not going to cook this sauce.

For the riso secco -- dry rice -- put half a small onion in a heavy bottomed pan with oil and butter.

When the onion has cooked and softened to a pale gold color, perhaps in 10 minutes or so, discard it and add long grain or basmati rice to the pan. After stirring the rice and coating it with oil, pour in salted water or broth -- you'll need double the amount of liquid to rice.

Cover the pan and let the rice simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. When it's done, add a few pats of butter to it and a little grated cheese. Serve it with the chilled fresh tomato sauce.

For dinner, we added delicious grilled chicken thighs and drumsticks, sprinkled with seasoned salt and thyme.

A green vegetable like fresh peas or zucchini would be very nice, too. And as for the wine? Nothing too "grassy," acidic, or crisp, I would think, since the tomatoes are so very acidic themselves and grilled chicken has some smoky zip, too. Perhaps a chardonnay would be nice, or a riesling, or even ... do we dare say ... a white zinfandel?

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