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shortlist no. 9 / september 5, 2010

September 7, 2010

After a week’s hangover hiatus, we’re back in the game. This was a Sunday supper for 5, one of whom was a vegetarian, but I think we handled it nicely, don’t you? Usually when I hear the words “vegetarian” or “lactose intolerant” all I can possibly think to make is chicken parm or beef lasagna and become convinced that meatlessness – let alone cheeselessness – is something I wasn’t built for. Give me an unplucked chicken, a bottle of juice and some peanuts and I’ll work with you. Throw in some garlic and we’re talking dinner.

But I draw the line at cheeselessness.

Anyways! Thankfully, cheese was very much in order and our guests are known lovers of risotto, which also happens to be one of oh, two or so dishes that I let Francesco make. It’s not because he’s not good in the kitchen, I always have to explain to people when he complains of his banishment. It’s that we have different paces – his, snail; mine, rabbit – and snails makes me nervous.

In any case, Sunday was Francesco’s time to shine. After much debate, he decided to finally use the dried porcini that had been stinking up the cupboard for months and set about making a delightful porcini mushroom risotto that left us all wanting more and left him….cold. I think his version of events would make a lovely blog post (I doubt he’d be so generous as to call me a rabbit), but my pleas fall onto little deaf snail ears. Maybe if you all make enough noise he’ll give in, and the snail will be triumphant!

As he always will be when risotto’s on the shortlist.

Sunday supper for 5

risotto ai porcini

(served first due to timing issues…even snails get ahead of themselves sometimes!)

fresh bread


broiled dates stuffed with bleu cheese wrapped with prosciutto (or not)


salad of heirloom tomatoes, basil, fried chickpeas, smoked salt and aged balsamic


apple tart cake with whipped cream

turkish delight

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 12:39 am

    I am totally with you about meat and cheese – life is far too short to miss out on anything! But you did handle it very well with rice, legumes, and cheese. Question: are the chick peas freshly made or canned? The salad sounds delicious and could be a meal in itself.

    • September 8, 2010 12:45 pm

      The chick peas were canned…unfortunately, I’m usually too shortsighted to think of soaking them the night before. They were a last minute addition, and ended up working beautifully. I just drained half a can of chickpeas, tossed them in some flour, fried them in oil until brown, then tossed with salt.

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