The good news this month is that — after suffering a broken hinge that disabled the oven for more than a week, the range finally got fixed. Which means that the culinary response to all this cold, crappy March weather is available again — i.e. Roasting!
The first application of this remedy included roasted peppers, eggplants, mushrooms, and pineapple slices. The peppers were peeled and sliced, and they were layered with slices of the eggplant, drizzled with olive oil, and left for a day or two to blend flavors.
I grilled four small blocks of pressed tofu (marinated in oil and vinegar first), then topped them with roasted portobello slices. Barbara had roasted pineapple slices two days earlier, because the snow was too deep to get to the grill. For this meal I took the roasted slices out of the refrigerator, brushed them with olive oil, and then grilled them. For color, I placed a cherry tomato in the center of the pineapples slices, where the core had been. Next, I took my favorite little French copper casserole, cut up a few peeled potatoes, and added them to the pot along with flowering chives and two small whole onions. Olive oil, salt and pepper, and a 425º oven did the rest. The final accompaniment was wilted baby spinach with roasted (of course) baby Shiitake mushrooms.
Not all my meals are perfect. The Portobellos were overcooked when I put them back in the oven to warm up, and the pineapple slices weren’t that good in flavor or texture. But the colors were exciting.
The wine was one I found recently at Social Wines, 2012 Cardamone Costa d’Amalfi by Reale. The wine is deep purple and richly-flavored, 80% Piedirosso and 20% Tintore, imported by Nick Mucci in Boston. I bought a case of it after the first time I had some.