It’s funny because we live in a very very small town. You could walk one end to the other in under a half hour, probably. But we have a towpath! It goes beyond the town to the North for miles and miles through other towns, and it goes below the town for miles and miles through other towns and cities, along other rivers. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes! You always have the feeling that you could just walk and walk forever, and discover new places. It’s McElligot’s towpath. Once you travel down it, you never know what you’ll find! But for over a month it’s been hard to walk, because of snow and ice and general treacherousness. It makes the town feel so small. It makes me long for spring, when we can explore again, and find all of the secret fields and valleys that the towpath leads to. All of the Hopes. And David just said he saw a bluebird on the way home from work!I made these on Valentine’s day for a Special Meal. I wanted something main coursey and steaky but still, obviously, vegetarian. So I made these, and I served them over a sort of pilaf of rice and farro cooked with annatto oil and smoked paprika. And we had cauliflower puree, and some kind of sauce, but I can’t remember which one. And that’s that!
Here’s All the Places by Pete Rock and CL Smooth.
2 T butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t rosemary
3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated smoked gouda or cheddar
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 cup cooked small white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 t salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
1 t balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
Preheat then oven to 425 and lightly oil some small tins or large muffin tins (shallow ones would work best, if you have them).
In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and rosemary. When the butter is bubbly and starting to brown, add the spinach. Stir and cook for a minute or two until the spinach is wilted and bright. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a food processor, whiz the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the milk and cheeses and process again. Add the spinach and process briefly. Then add the beans, pecans, salt, pepper, vinegar or lemon and nutmeg. Process just to combine. You don’t want everything to be smooth…you want pieces of bean and pecan.
Pour the batter into the prepared tins, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown. Remove from the pans, and serve over rice or faro or some other grain. (I made a combination of both, which I cooked with annatto oil and smoked paprika!)