Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Farm

I always speak of "the farm" in my cooking classes. Depending upon the context it could be "the farm" I visit most frequently near me in Rhode Island, Pezza Farms. Or, it could be "the farm" that my Aunt Doris had up in Gorham, Maine that we used to visit during the various seasons. There's a special place in my heart for farmers because of my Aunt Doris and Uncle Bud. Both up early, tending to the chickens, the cows, Liza the pig and the horses. Not to mention the fields on their 40 acres. I fondly remember visiting in the Summer and picking the small, wild Maine blueberries. And in the Winter, chopping a tree down for Christmas in the back forty and bringing it home to the family farmhouse that had been in the family for generations, trudging through the snow-covered woods with our cheeks so "Norman Rockwell-ian" rosy and then begging for one more sleigh ride, my sister and I bundled next to Uncle Bud at the reigns before we came in for hot chocolate and bed.
Yesterday, my friend Katie and I visited Pezza Farms and had a wonderful chat with Doreen Pezza. She can tell you anything and everything about growing this and that. What a font of knowledge to glean from, especially for anything that you may want to grow in Rhode Island. Within a blink of her blue eyes, she'll gather what you want, where you want to put it and how you're going to cultivate it and with such enthusiasm that before you know it "you just have to raise one of 'those' too"! Somehow you always find room. But, my main purpose was to see what produce she had to offer. The most beautiful heirloom cherry tomatoes beckoned, along with some fresh cries from gorgeous green beans. And then, in came Doreen's son with a bushel of sweet corn just picked. Well, how could I resist that? Never. The supper question was solved. Something easy, fresh, local and alright, alright...healthy.

Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes and Green Beans
Somewhat Fried Eggs

15-20 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tbl. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves, small; minced
2 Anchovy Filets, packed in oil; whole
Green Beans, a good handful*
2 Eggs, large
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Italian or French Bread, sliced and toasted**

Wash and slice each cherry tomato in half, place in bowl and set aside. Preheat a medium non-stick skillet or 3 quart non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat for about 3 minutes. If you prefer a regular skillet or sauté pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil.

Jewel-like Cherry Tomatoes with Anchovies
Turn down heat to medium and add the olive oil and heat to a shimmer. Add the minced garlic, sautéing until lightly golden. Continue with placing the tomatoes and anchovies into the pan as well and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and the anchovies begin to disappear, about 5-7 minutes. Scatter the green beans on top of the tomatoes and cover until beans begin to soften yet still retain some “bite”.

When beans have cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside. Remove tomatoes to a bowl, saving any liquid that is in the bottom of the pan. Crack each egg into the bottom of the pan in any remaining liquid and cover until desired degree of doneness is achieved.

Place a slice of the toasted bread onto a plate and spoon the tomatoes on top, followed by the green beans. Place the eggs on top of that and add any remaining pan juices. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at once.

*The amount of green beans is entirely up to you. Asparagus is a wonderful substitute as well.
**For added flavor, rub each slice with a cut garlic clove after toasting.

Apologies for the blurry photo. I was so hungry!

I had a nice chilled glass of a Semillon with this, but other balanced white wines would be fantastic with this dish as well; Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Sauvingon Blanc and the like. Just don't choose anything too "oaky".

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