This weekend was excellent from the standpoint of food. It was a feast of foods with difficult to spell names.
Bertie and I went to visit my parents and we all enjoyed a magnificent feast. The meal began with my mother’s homemade braciola (pronounced brah-jole) and polenta. We haven’t had this in quite some time, so I was particularly happy about it. Braciola (sometimes inaccurately spelled braciole) is an Italian dish wherein a tender beef roulade is filled with cheeses, herbs (and sometimes spinach and pine nuts). It’s smothered in a magnificent, tomato sauce.
Polenta is a dense paste of cornmeal which has been boiled (usually in stock). Sometimes this is served as it is, but often, it is formed into patties or into a loaf which is sliced and either fried or baked. I love my mother’s polenta. She takes the slices and bakes them topped with fresh herbs. This was served with the same amazing sauce in which the braciola and fresh mozzarella.
A beautiful salad of watercress, fresh greens, pears, dried cherries and gorgonzola with a lovely, savory dressing added a cool counterpoint to the spice of the meal.
For dessert we enjoyed a gorgeous plum galette which glistened like a wide stomacher of amethysts.
A galette is a French pastry with rolled, crusty edges. You can think of it as a flat-bottomed bag which is filled with fruit. Or—you could just call it a tart.
I love these rustic tarts with their delicate, rolled crusts. I adore the uneven way that they cover the filling. Here, my mother has dusted the crust with cinnamon and sugar—giving it a spicy sweetness and a delicious texture which complements the buttery crust and tender plums perfectly.
The plums have been carefully sliced and arranged—leaving the skins on. The flavors of the meat of the fruit and the skin blend perfectly, combined with the other ingredients, to create a beautiful symphony of taste.
I do tend to get carried away when I talk about desserts. I just get so excited.