A Russo and Sons Quality Fruits and Vegetables
For the past couple of months I've been making a nearly weekly pilgrimage to Russo's in Watertown for produce. What began as a fruit stand on the Watertown/Waltham border in Massachusetts has become what is arguably the finest retail market for produce in New England. They also have an incredible selection of high quality cheeses, deli meats, breads and pastries. If you have a green thumb you can also pick up a flat of tomato plants with your green beans and brie. Their produce is both better and actually cheaper than what we get at both of our local supermarkets. Plus, over the past few weeks I've picked up some cool stuff that I've never cooked with before such as pea tendrils (young greens from your basic pea plant, and a wonderful addition to salads or chopped and sautéed as you would chard), shiso leaves and baby thumbelina carrots.
Today I picked up some fresh fava beans, escarole, 3 types of pecorino (sheeps milk) cheeses from the cheese counter (Crotonese and Romano from Sardinia, and Toscano from Tuscany) and the remainder chunk from a Prosciutto Di Parma (for $7 a pound, baby!). From this I made a perfect rainy evening soup (yes, this memorial day weekend is a complete chilly rainy washout). First I simply sautéing a few whole garlic cloves, a couple of sliced up shallots, a couple of ribs of celery chopped thickly, and about a half cup of finely diced prosciutto in a lot of extra virgin olive oil just until the shallots and celery softened. I then added a sprig of marjoram, a head of escarole, roughly chopped, a cup or so of prepared fresh fava beans (add shelled fava beans to rapidly boiling water, cook for not more than a minute or two, shock the beans in ice water to cool and stop cooking, and peel the tough skin off of the beans by pinching off a piece of the skin with your thumbnail and squeezing out the shiny green been inside) a cup of white wine and two quarts of filtered water. I simmered it all for about 45 minutes then used a stick blender to roughly purée the vegetables. Served with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some freshly grated pecorino (Francie preferred the distinctively sharp Romano while I favored the softer Tuscano), it made us forget completely how miserable it was outside.
Posted on May 24, 2003 @ 08:45 PM
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