I’m working flat out to get a new piece ready for a show in LA at the end of the month, so posting might be spotty and/or lackluster over the next couple of weeks since I’m logging long hours in the studio (the wood shop, actually, sanding hundreds of small pieces and fabricating the aluminum plates that will hold them all together). It’s frustrating, because there’s much gardening to do but I’m not letting myself do any of it until the piece is done. And fancy cooking is likely to be another casualty of the 10+ hour days, though I’ll do what I can.
Meanwhile, I did want to share this lovely Easter leftovers soup that did heroic work to reassuringly conclude a recent rainy day. Stock made from the lamb bones, leftover potato-nettle gratin, mirepoix from the freezer, peas and corn from same, various greens, and amazing croutons made from the pesto polenta. I love to whisk in some pesto right before serving polenta (or in this case, before pouring it into pyrex baking dish to set up firm before cutting into cubes). along with a pat of butter the result is a brilliant accompaniment to almost anything. And the pesto of course can be tweaked in any direction to match the meal.
I cut the big cubes from Easter into smaller, crouton-sized ones, and then gently cooked them in a bit of olive oil, flipping them when the bottoms got golden and crispy. Doing this properly takes some time. If you get them too hot they don’t crisp properly, and you really need to get as many of the six sides of each cube crisp as you can. But your patience will be rewarded; the result have that magical contrast between exterior crunch and interior yield (combined with corny, basil-y flavor) that makes them highly addictive. In this case the result was like soupe au pistou but with the pistou bound up in these wonderful croutons. And, being semi-Provençal, the soup went famously with one of the affordable and delightful bottles I grabbed recently. Absent well-cooked dinners, I’ll try to put up a wine post this week.