Playing with My Food


Playing with food 009


This morning I brought home my usual overstuffed shopping basket from the farmer’s market.  It tumbled over with relief when I placed it down on the kitchen counter, and a few eager ingredients escaped the crowd and rolled before me.  These included some sweetly perfumed white nectarines, a floppy bunch of intoxicatingly aromatic mint, and a snow-white fennel bulb crowned with frizzy green fronds.  As I reached for them I stopped and thought: What a wonderful combination of color, texture and fresh flavor.  The leaves of mint were enormous, begging to be left intact.  Obligingly, I gathered one and cupped the leaf realizing it would make a perfect vessel.  I sliced the nectarine thinly and did likewise with the fennel, reserving its dill-like tips as garnish.  I imagined the crunchy, juicy, fresh and bright textures and taste. Now to balance this combo, a little salt and a little bite were needed.  I knew exactly what to dig for in my cheese drawer: a chunk of Pecorino Romano Pepato I had purchased the previous week at my favorite Italian specialty store.  If you do not know this fantastic cheese it is a Pecorino Romano studded with whole black peppercorns.  The combination of the salty sheep cheese and the sharp bite of black peppercorn is addictive.  I shaved a few slivers off, collected any wayward black peppercorns and combined them with the other ingredients cupped in the mint leaf.  To pull it together, I reached for a lemon on my window ledge and cut a wedge of it, squeezing the fresh citrus juice over the mint, followed by a light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.  And suddenly I had a perfect summertime amuse-bouche. If you prefer more substance to your bite, this would go nicely on top of crostini.


2 thoughts on “Playing with My Food

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  2. mmmh! wonderful thought! i love my pecorino, especially with pepper, and your way of serving it sounds delicious! and of course, it looks stunning, too!

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