Sunday, September 30, 2007

Romanesca, Italian Butter Bean, and Gorgonzola Gratin

This delicious Fall gratin with creamy fresh Italian Butter Beans, green and firm Romanesca, and tangy Gorgonzola was inspired by my trip to the SF Ferry Building Farmers Market last weekend. While I love Romanesca, I wouldn't have noticed the beans without Chef Eric's recommendation.

The Romanesca is the most amazing looking vegetable:

I discovered it last year and you can read more about it in this post from last November.

There's really no need for a formal recipe here. The Italian Butter Beans were podded and boiled until tender (approx. 15mins), cooled, then I removed the outerskin (like one would with a fresh fava). The Romanesca was cleaned and cut into small pieces and sauted gently with minced garlic and olive oil. Added the beans for one minute then put the mixture in a small gratin dish with some cooked rice underneath. As a side dish, the rice wouldn't be necessary, but this was a main for me. I think soft polenta (keeping with the Italian theme) would have been a much better choice and I would have preferred some tasty mashed potatoes or sliced sauted potatoes to the rice. ) Topped with crumbled Gorgonzola and placed under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, this made a wonderful little supper.

Vegans, you may remember my recent call for a Vegan Stilton. My trusty vegan pal VK discovered a Canadian Blue Soy Cheese, which I sampled this weekend, along with their Vegan Feta. Although the texture wasn't right, I was quite surprised at how well the Blue Soy Cheese reproduced that Blue Cheese taste.

Definitely good enough for a cheese lover to eat alone on crackers:

So the question now is: does it melt?

VK found these soy cheeses at Rainbow in SF. I haven't seen them elsewhere, so let us know if you have a source.

Here's the feta with cracker:

Also, very good. I'd love to hear about favorite vegan cheeses in the comments, so bring it on!


Blogger Kalyn said...

Looks like an amazing combination!

5:31 AM  
Blogger bazu said...

That gratin looks amazing! And remember when I said "from your mouth to god's ears" about vegan blue cheese? It seems as if there is a god- and she likes you!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

bazu - LOL!

3:22 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Oooh, "Italian Butter Beans". I ate these while in Italy and didn't know their name, but they were so flavorful and delicious. (Now I'm thinking, "well, duh"). This looks like great comfort food : )

4:22 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

This looks like a delicious, all together fabulous dish. I have never seen a Romanesca. Its very interesting and lovely. :)

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... sells the soy feta, but I am still looking for the bleu cheese.

6:57 PM  

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