Saturday, October 23, 2010

Barley, Tomato and Garlic Risotto

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A couple of weeks ago, I whined very loudly (inside my head and on the blog) about our poor tomato production this year. Well, I may have spoken a little too soon. It didn't look like we'd get a decent batch of tomatoes, but after a couple of weeks on the vines, some tomatoes slowly turned red. Now, seeing that it's mid-October already (in California, but still), these tomatoes are probably not in peak summer shape. But I'm still happy that they're here. Better late than never.

I was just contemplating what I'd do with them (the closest that I came to my pig-in-shit happy moment), when smitten kitchen's new post landed in my GoogleReader. I causally skimmed for food porn until one name caught my eyes -- Yotom Ottolenghi. I clicked through and found his The New Vegetarian feature for The Guardian. The recipes sound so delectable. Basically, this is the kind of vegetarian food that I want to make but for my crippling lack of talent and imagination. Seriously, who can resist a mushroom and tarragon pithivier... whatever that is...? It sounds so.... fancy, like something I'd get all over my dress at a high society dinner party.

To make my food sound fancier, I should start calling ingredients by their British or French names. Instead of eggplant, chili pepper and zucchini, they are now respectively aubergine, capsicum and courgette. Pretty soon, I will really have no idea what I'm talking about.

You can find Yotom Ottolenghi's barley, tomato and garlic risotto recipe here. In case you're curious what "passata" is, I'll save you a trip to Google. According to Practically Edible, passata is "sieved tomatoes -- tomatoes that have been skinned, then passed through sieves to remove the seeds and to crush the tomatoes." Translation: tomato sauce... but fancier.

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