06.12.10: dinner (caprese salad, veal cutlets, and fresh papparadelle with mascarpone).

Insalata di Caprese featuring Kumatoes

Having access to great food stores means we can usually get our hands on some pretty unique ingredients. Sometimes the best can be found at the Greenmarket, while others can be hiding next to something as innocuous as grapefruit that you only see because you’re making a beeline for the good deal on peaches just beyond that display.

This is precisely how we stumbled across the oddly colored kumato.Michael had it in his head that he wanted caprese salad for dinner, something I will never object to as it provides an excellent excuse to buy some Fairway house-made fresh mozzarella, but that idea changed a little as I was filling up a bag with inexpensive peaches and he started browsing in this part of the store and found the case of kumatoes just begging to be tried.

These strange little beauties are from the Mediterranean originally, a natural variety of tomato that varies in color from green to brown, and has a pungent, sweet flavor even when not fully ripened. Since the best tomatoes have yet to come to the New York area (i.e. the Jersey tomatoes that are at their peak in August), we figured giving these a try in the name of experimentation was worth the minor investment.

It was the correct decision, of course. There was no comparison to the vine-ripened tomatoes we had purchased in the event that these were somehow not delicious, as these little guys obliterated any potential competition. These are intense little tomatoes, better than even some of the heirlooms I’ve enjoyed in the past. Naturally they don’t come cheap–on par with the price of heirlooms–but worth every last penny spent. We inhaled these quickly, and were it not already getting late, we would have probably bolted back to Fairway and purchased more cheese and kumatoes and feasted on this all night.

We did have other food to eat, though, so our collective kumato longing must wait for another weekend.

Veal Cutlets, Roman Style

Veal is not something that we have on a regular basis, as I’ve mentioned before, but sometimes it’s impossible to quell a craving for some osso bucco or some simply prepared cutlets. Pounded thin and thrown into the pan with some butter, a little olive oil and some rosemary and boom: instant appetizer.

Papperadelle con Marinara e Mascarpone Pepperonata

And then the pasta, the evening’s final event. Ever since he made Mario Batali’s basic tomato sauce (with San Marzano tomatoes, of course) a few weeks ago for the first time, it’s become his go-to marinara. It’s fast, simple and delicious, and pairs perfectly with fresh pasta because it’s not too dense. A dollop of mascarpone cheese flecked with freshly ground black pepper on top, and it’s little wonder why we tend to not eat much during the day on weekends–dinners can turn into true feasts.

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4 comments
  1. Tracy said:

    Same here. We save our true feasting for the dinner hour. You certainly had a lovely feast.

  2. Wow Elizabeth – I’m coming to your place for dinner! I’ve not made veal cutlets before but this makes me want to – great job!

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