Monday, June 11, 2007

Ministrone Soup

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This soup is a great main dish for chilly fall days. It is
loaded with vegetables and the addition of pasta gives
it its hearty appeal.

2 Tb. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
6 oz. green beans, trimmed, halved
1 can plum tomatoes, 28 oz., with juices
10 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 qt. vegetable or chicken stock
salt, pepper, to taste
1/2 cup ditalini or elbow pasta
1 cup canned canellini beans, rinsed

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan heat the oil over
    medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and
    celery saute for 5 to 8 minutes, to soften the vegetables.
    Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, basil and stock
    and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Season
    again with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in pasta and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Stir in
    beans before serving.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serves 6.

Grilled Duck Salad With Haricot Verts

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A beautiful main dish salad that is perfect for anytime of year.
This can be made with chicken breast in place of duck, if
desired.2 whole duck breasts, skin removed.

1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tb. ginger, peeled, minced
2 Tb. soy sauce
5 Tb. cilantro, chopped
1 cup plum wine
1 small shallot, minced
2 Tb. lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 Tb. olive oil
salt, pepper
2 small bunches arugula, washed and dried
12 oz. haricot verts, stem end only trimmed, blanched
2 oranges, segmented
2 tsp. each black and white sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Combine the duck with the sugar, ginger, soy and half
    the cilantro in a small bowl. Turn to coat and marinate
    for at least an hour.
  2. Reduce the plum wine to 1/4 cup over medium heat in
    a small saucepan.
  3. Combine the remaining cilantro, the plum wine, lemon
    juice, vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk;
    season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. Heat a grill pan for 5 minutes over high heat.
  5. Grill the duck 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until
    medium-rare. Remove to a cutting board. Slice thinly
    on the diagonal.
  6. Divide the arugula between 4 large plates and drizzle
    with some of the plum dressing. Arrange the duck slices
    on top in a spoke pattern. Arrange the orange sections
    between the duck slices. Scatter the haricot verts around
    the outside of the plate in a circle. Drizzle each salad with
    the remaining dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.