* Mixed color carrots
* Hardneck garlic
* Pea shoots
* Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
* Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
* Mission of Burma – Signals, Calls and Marches
All these root vegetables and nowhere to go but to the braised shortribs. Mario Batali’s shortribs from his Babbo cookbook are ridiculous. I think this is the fourth time I’ve made them. He pairs his with a pumpkin orzo, which is spectacular to be sure (I use butternut squash), but I have these lovely beets from my farmbox, so it’s beet orzo tonight. Also, Mario’s gremolata is made with (naturally) italian flat leafed parsley, fresh horseradish and lemon zest. I’m going to substitute pea shoots because I want to try something different.
Unfortunately, my camera ran out of juice before I could get the photo that I wanted of this plate, but I thought better to have something than nothing in this case.
The beet orzo was ruby red and gorgeous with the perfect balance of sweet and tangy from the 2 tablespoons of honey and balsalmic that I mixed in to the puree.
The pea shoot and horseradish gremolata was a considerable improvement over Mario’s version that uses Italian parsley for the greens. The pea shoots were tender and fresh flavored with a far superior mouth feel to the sometimes papery feel of the parsley.
A word about Mario Batali’s The Babbo Cookbook: if you don’t own it, you should. The recipes are easy to follow and, if executed perfectly, is almost exactly like eating at Batali’s flagship NYC restaurant. After owning the book for a couple of years, I finally made it to Babbo where I enjoyed the chef’s tasting menu. I was surprised at how favorably the dishes I’d created using the cookbook compared to the real deal! Don’t get me wrong, Babbo’s execution and quality of their ingredients makes it more than worth the trip (oh, and the wine pairings…mama mia!), but still it’s just killer when a celebrity chef like Mario puts out a cookbook that a home cook can use to put out food of this very high quality. So, again, get it if you don’t have it, you won’t be disappointed!
– Shawn Traylor, Farmbox blog