December 9, 2008
Cannellini with pork and rosemary
As the last week of our CSA farm share approaches the pickings are starting to get slim and the variety in our bushel is matched by the harshness of the cold winter air.
So it's now that I turn to putting more meat on the table. It's not that we will be eating meat every night. No way. It's still the side dish to vegetables in our house, but I do find myself wanting to cook hearty stews and experiment with slow roasting, braising and other flavorful and comforting dishes this time of year.
And yet, no matter how hard I try, the accompaniment ends up being the main event in my house. It's like the second-rate opera singer in the chorus who, because of her charm and gumption, always ends up stealing the show from the prima donna.
Maybe it's because I try never to use accompanying ingredients that are second-rate. The cannellini beans in this dish were fresh, purchased on my recent trip to Italy at a farmer's market. They're from a farm in Umbria and I'm not likely to ever find them again, which makes me almost want to cry. Knowing this, I felt I had to put them to good use. So when I came across this recipe in the December issue of Gourmet, it caught my eye because it was called "Cannellini with pork and rosemary" and not Pork roast with cannellini beans or some other meat-centric title. (Get the recipe here.)
And it was delicious. We loved it. It filled the house with the aromas of slow-roasting pork and rosemary and filled our bellies with warmth and goodness. We scooped up the beans and their broth with crusty pieces of toasted bread on Sat. night (with a great bottle of Montefalco Rosso from, of all places, central Umbria! Thanks, Woodland Wine), and finished off the leftovers for lunch on Sunday.
I will make this recipe again for sure. I just may have to go to Italy to find the beans. Unless someone out there can tell me where to get good fresh cannellini beans in Nashville? Anyone?