15 March 2013

Back in the U.S. of A and Bagnèt Verde

As you can see, I have been away for awhile from my poor little neglected blog. I have been visiting in the US trying to see everyone and everything that I can as my visits are few and far between. As much as I love living in Italy and all of my friends and family here, I do miss my American family and friends. With my hectic schedule attempting to take it all in, I didn't seem to find any time to share here on my Bella Baita View, so today I will remedy  that. 
Snowshoeing in Frisco and Skiing Copper Mt Colorado
I have three brothers and their children scattered throughout the states and I was blessed in that I was able to see most of them. Along the way I was also able to spend some time in Summit County in Colorado, which I still consider my last home in America. Fortunately for me, I still have a lot of friends making the visit all the more sweet. I got to do a little snowshoeing and skiing as well as chatting and sipping beverages with friends. The world around,  we all do enjoy our "catching up" over food and drinks. This trip was no exception. My friends Mary and John, were kind enough to open their home to my friends for a potluck one night so we could all do a bit of catching up while we sampled each others food and drink.
Friends at the potluck
Since my hosts were working the day of the party I took the opportunity to do a bit of cooking, using seasonal vegetables and making some dishes vegetarian and vegan with some traces of  Piemontese influence in the various dishes. To provide a protein or meat dish that I could make ahead so as not to be busy when everyone arrived, I braised a beef roast and served up the room temperature slices with a classic Piemontese sauce, salsa verde. I also made green cabbage rolls filled  with spicy sausage and covered with a marinara sauce. Vegan cabbage rolls made with Chinese cabbage, as it was more similar to Savoy cabbage, which I couldn't get, and filled with mixed quinoa, tempeh bacon and a sweet fruit and vegetable relish begging to be used up in the fridge. I grilled some eggplant slices and filled the with firm tofu that had been sautéed up with garlic and 2 colors of kale  and covered with the marinara sauce. I added some of my home made focaccia to go along with a great selection of Wisconsin cheeses, many made by small producers from the Devils Head area, thanks to a great gift from my Wisconsin friend Marcia. We had met up in Chicago for lunch and she gifted me with a fabulous treasure trove of artisan cheeses. Everyone loved them. There were a lot of great dishes brought along to share but I got so busy chatting I forgot to take photos, so you'll just have to believe me. 
Potluck buffet
A great dish for Easter lunch or brunch, plated or on a buffet anytime, is the braised beef slices warm or room temperature, served with the salsa verde. This green sauce is a garlicky punch that usually finds itself served alongside the beloved bollito misto, or mixed boiled meats that is so popular here in Piiedmont and other parts of Italy. Often when we enjoy Easter lunch with my in-laws, the evening meal, after the traditional "passeggiata", or walk in the neighborhood after groaning through lunch, we have a simple bollito misto accompanied with both green and re sauce.  So here is my version based on my mother in-laws, which can vary depending on taste or what's on hand. It's great on any type of simple meat that adds just the right amount of zip and brightens up the plate. Adjust the amounts to suit your palette to make it your own.

 Bagnèt Verde Piemontese or 

Green Sauce or "Bath" Piemontese Sauce

1-2 large fistfuls of parsley, washed and dried
2 garlic cloves
2 whole or 4 fillets of anchovies in salt, cleaned  (in oil if you can't find those in the salt)*
1 T capers in salt, washed to remove the salt
1 hard boiled egg **
2 c (bicchieri) olive oil
1/2 c (bicchiere) vinegar, white wine, red wine or apple cider all are nice 
salt if needed to taste

The easy way would be to buzz it all up in the food processor, but my mother in-law would not approve as it would not have enough texture. 
I hand chop all the various ingredients fine or sometimes I use a mezzaluna (curved knife with two handles) to get a uniform texture. 
I place all of the chopped ingredients in a bowl and mix the oil and vinegar in to taste adjusting any of the ingredient quantities if I feel it needs more or the flavor isn;t well blended.

Serve at room temperature. This will keep a few days in the refrigerator also, so you could make it ahead of time. 
Spoon liberally over your cooked meats and enjoy. 

** Some make the sauce with the egg yolk only and use a slice of soft white bread chopped uo to thicken. Our family is more practical and we add the whole boiled egg, chopped fine.
* Anchovies and capers that are preserved have more flavor once the salt is removed than the anchovies in oil or capers in vinegar. You may need to adjust the seasoning depending on which variety of these two ingredients you use. Do not add any salt without tasting first and you might want less vinegar if your capers were preserved in vinegar. 


Rowena said...

Well there you are! I was wondering why you hadn't posted in awhile, and even sent of an email to see how you were doing. Obviously, you are having a swell time! No stateside visits for me this year but how wonderful that you were able to go back and spend time with your loved ones. Have a safe trip!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

it's hard to fit everything in when you are only there for a short period of time. Now you know how I feel when I come to Italy...wink.This sauce does sound perfect for a perfectly cooked roast.

Bella Baita Marla said...

Thanks Rowena, I thought I would be posting while I was gone, but connections and tools were limited for part of the trip. I didn't see your email. It must have slipped by in all the spam that seems to clog up the in box at times. Thanks for checkin on me!
And yes Val, I completely understand the challenges of visiting Italy. Far too many interesting places to explore. Thanks for dropping back by.

AdriBarr said...

I am so glad you made the trip back, although I did miss your blog posts. It must have been so much fun All the photos are wonderful. There is nothing that matches getting together with friends and loved ones.

Your Bagnet Verde sounds wonderful. Paired with a nice roast, I bet it is out of this world. I am glad to see you back blogging again!

Bella Baita Marla said...

Thank you so much Adri, you are always so encouraging. I really appreciate that.

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