Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bean soup and Brussels sprouts

Eastside Road, December 22, 2010—
A BIT OF A CHANGE on the last few days of dinners: Brussels sprouts; bean soup. Perhaps I should explain the recurring Brussels sprouts. It's because I bought an entire stalk of them last Saturday, because the loose sprouts were old and tired-looking, and those on the stalk were fresh and firm. Then too, the entire stalk was for sale for $4.95; the number of sprouts involved would have cost much more than that bought loose. I suppose that's logical: a certain amount of labor is involved in cutting them free from the stalk. But once cut free, the sprouts deteriorate quickly; left on the stalk, they continue to be fed and watered.

The stalk I bought was densely populated: there were lots of sprouts. Probably at least four dozen. I did cut them all off at once, perhaps a mistake; but it's been cold; I put them all in a plastic bag and left them in the cold mud room until yesterday, when the refrigerator had been sufficiently discharged, and the sprouts sufficiently depopulated, to allow them the benefit of contemporary refrigeration technology.

I cooked them tonight as I did yesterday and the day before: trimmed the stems a bit, cut the sprouts in half lengthwise, and cooked them in a little water, with salt, in a heavy pot, under a lid, until tender. Then I sprinkled in a few drops of olive oil and a few red pepper flakes.

Lindsey found the leftover bean soup from a few days back, toasted a couple of slices of bread, and grated Parmesan over the toasts as they floated in our soup-bowls. Green salad, after, and pie's waiting in the kitchen, I can smell it now.
Tempranillo/garnacha, La Granja (Cariñena), 2009

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