Welcome Spring! Wheat Berries with Roasted Radishes

image

 

After a long Winter, everyone is eager for Spring. It’s so wonderful to go into farmers’ martkets and co-op, or maybe you visit a local farm or are participate in Community Supported Agriculture, and see these first Spring vegetables arriving. Though I have planted my spring garden, all I currently see are little, encouraging green shoots and leaves, and so I was excited to find some beautiful radishes at the farmer’s market last weekend. I was tempted to slice them up immediately and spread them on whole wheat bread with a nice slab of butter sprinkled with Maldon salt (on of my favorite ways to eat new spring radishes), but I held off in order to make a version of the “Thyme Farrotto with Roasted Radishes and Radish Greens,” from the wonderful cookbook “Whole Grains for a New Generation.”¬†image

I didn’t have any farro in the house, so I substituted wheat berries, which are similar (though do take quite a long time to cook). I cooked the wheat berries in vegetable stock and thyme , and when it was soft but toothsome, finished it with a tablespoon of butter and a bit more yogurt (instead of the creme fraiche in the original recipe. Meanwhile, I roasted the radishes and greens (after tossing in olive oil, salt and pepper) until the radishes browned and started to shrivel, and the greens crisped. While they look beautiful here (and in the cookbook) the greens will be easter to eat if you chop them a bit first! ¬†This simple recipe really let the radishes shine.

 

Advertisements

Osteria

pecorino flan with artichokes, fava beans and mint
pecorino flan with artichokes, fava beans and mint

It was Senor Lanky’s birthday, and in keeping tradition with our trip to Vetri last year, we decided to go to Marc Vetri’s newest restaurant, and winner of the 2008 James Beard Foundation award for Best New Restaraunt, Osteria. Located in a large building with soaring ceilings on North Broad St., Osteria has a more upscale rustic design, great wooden tables, and a giant meat slicer in the dining room for perfectly shaved prosciutto (not that I had any of that). We started with a glass of prosecco, and had to order the pecorino flan, pictured above. Dainty, salty, creamy and perfect. The fava beans, dense and very firm, made a perfect, accompaniment and tasted just like Spring.

barbabietole pizza
barbabietole pizza

Osteria is famous for its crispy, wood-fired fancy pizza. We shared one as a second course, and were suprised to find it was large enough to be an entire lunch (shared). Of course, we ate the whole thing anyway. Baby beets, creamy castelmagno cheese, fresh tarragon and a hint black truffle. We could have stopped there. We did not.

beet and goat cheese plin with tarragon
beet and goat cheese plin with tarragon

I love beets. For my primi course (which, by then, felt like a third course) I ordered the beet and goat cheese plin, like small folded pockets of thin pasta. Surprisingly rich (in a buttery sauce), it was a delight.
robiola francobolli with royal trumpet mushrooms and thyme
robiola francobolli with royal trumpet mushrooms and thyme

Because there aren’t any vegetarian options in the “Secondi” section of the menu, and because I love pasta, I ordered the robiola francobolli – ravioli with royal trumpet mushrooms and thyme. Somehow, this pasta was quite delicate and lightly flavored, which made me think I should have switched its order with the beet plin. At this point, and after a glass of Multipulciano, you can imagine that I was stuffed.

blood orange tirimisu
blood orange tirimisu
But is was Senor Lanky’s birthday, and neither of us can resist blood oranges. This cute little deconstructed blood orange tirimisu came in a tiny jar with a candle. Sweet and tart and lovely. We had to roll ourselves out the door.

While Osteria certainly isn’t the “simple food” its name implies, and is on the pricey, special-occasion side of the spectrum, the food was impeccably prepared, the pasta light and yet complex, and we had a wonderful time.

Osteria on Urbanspoon