Jane Doe


Today I really had no time to let my cooking imagination wonder. I am involved in a series of projects which don’t have anything to do with cooking and require a lot of my time. Nevertheless the kids have to eat, and the blogger has to blog!
Yesterday while laying leisurely on the park during our picnic, I enjoyed reading bits of a fantastic book I’ve had around for a couple of years but never really bothered to read: “The Lost Art of Real Cooking“, by Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger. I really recommend it!

Well, the book really helped me today to cook with some dignity and confidence even though I had few ingredients and little time. If you read the book you’ll know what I mean!

The dish I am about to describe is not a miracle or a new idea, but for some reason I felt really “together” and even creative while making it, and the eaters liked it.

I am naming this dish “Jane Doe” since it’s far from unusual and bit generic if you will, but beautiful in its simplicity, and once you experience it, just as with any Jane Doe you’ll experience its uniqueness. Here it goes:

2 cups of brown rice
1 tbs. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 cups of water
1 tbs of a concentrated mushroom bouillon paste(I use Vitam, Steinpilz-Hefebruhe, from the health food store), but you can substitute a bouillon cube dissolved in the 3 cups of water
1 red bell pepper finely sliced
1 large onion cut in cubes
2 cloves of garlic minced
About 200g. canned pomodori
A bunch of fresh broad beans
1 carrot chopped in small cubes
Some leftover raw spinach
Sea salt
A bit of fresh rosemary

-in a heavy iron pan sauté the rice and the garlic in the hot olive oil for several minutes, until you feel it’s beginning to toast a bit, keep stirring
-add the water and the concentrated bouillon paste or cube
-cover and let it cook for about 40 minutes at very low heat with a flame deflector, in the mean time cut your veggies
-in another pan make the “sofrito”, or sauté the onions, garlic, rosemary, pepper and other vegetables, adding the spinach at the end
-when the vegetables are done(not over cooked!), add the cooked rice and stir well
-cook for a minute and serve garnished with parsley

You see it is nothing amazing, but it was tasty and quick. And, if you read The Lost Art of Real Cooking


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