20 July 2006

Garlic: It's what's for dinner.

Well, it's been too hot lately to eat, much less cook, but a slight break in the heatwave yesterday allowed an intrepid group of Brooklynites to enjoy the fruits of the Union Square Greenmarket.

I tied on my Küchenchef apron, and with the very capable sous-chef Mr. Chris, I produced this:

The dark romantical lighting doesn't really do justice to the colors, but it was a rather tasty Free-Form Polenta lasagna with broiled vegetables (I got the idea from a Food Network recipe, though I didn't really, you know, follow it).

The most exciting thing, to me, was the tomato sauce. I found some gorgeous vine-ripened tomatoes (they actually taste of tomato... it's quite remarkable) at the Greenmarket, and broiled them with some garlic scapes (just the bulbs... it seems as though you can use the stalks for things, but I'm a little nervous about it... they seem really woody), salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil. Then into the blender for a really nice sauce that works at all temperatures.

The garlicky flavor of that sauce combined with a garlicky pa amb tomàquet starter and we had the stuff leaking out of our pores (basically, we were creating my father's personal hell) by the time we moved to the movie portion of the evening.

The feature was Black Orpheus, which was good, though I fell asleep about halfway through. Luckily, I was awake for the impromptu Carnivale-style dance party around Seth's apartment.

In spite of a shower, vigorous toothbrushing and listerine-ing, I was still feeling steeped in garlic this morning. Awesome.

But dinner was a success (many thanks to Claire for taking the cameraphone picture). There's something to be said for vegetables straight from the farm, even if they are a little pricey when you add it all up.

Next time, I'll roast peppers myself (couldn't find any and had to go for the jar...), and try out more layers with some fontina cheese. Also I'd make way less polenta (we're now drowning in the stuff... and a full pot of boiling polenta could result in injury, like a drop soaring out of the pot and hitting your foot and causing you to dance around the kitchen cursing.. not that I'd know about that). Also a eensy bit less garlic. Hoo-boy.


Joshua said...

I very strangely seemed to have been the only one not leaking garlic. I mean, I really like garlic, but I guess maybe I didn't eat as much or something? Or maybe I just really, really like garlic.

The thing is, either way the dinner was great. Thank you Sheena.

leah said...

nice plating! isn't it sad how rare it is to find tomatoes that aren't just red mush? i have the best luck with cherry & grape tomatoes, but they are certainly not well suited to sandwich-making (one of my primary tomato uses).