Polpettone di verdure alla ligure - Vegetable loaf Ligurian style
This dish is from Liguria, the Italian region famous for its "riviera".
It's a typical summer dish, and it is best eaten cold or lukewarm.
Once cooked, it can be preserved in the refrigerator for several days.
Ingredients (for about 8 servings)
- 1 and 1/2 pound potatoes (I prefer Hidao for this dish, but the red skin are good too)
- 1 and 1/2 ponds of green beans (or: 1 pound grean beans and 1/2
pound of other vegetables of your choice: zucchini, spinach, broccoli...)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 10-20 leaves of basil (the small, new born ones at the top are the best)
- 10 twigs (with leaves) of marjoram
- 10 leaves of origano (optional)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 to 1/3 pound grated parmesan cheese
- plain bread crumbs
- olive oil
- salt to taste
Recommendations The vegetables should be fresh
(not canned), the erbs also should be fresh (not dried) and the parmesan
cheese should be "the real thing", namely you should buy a piece
(not already grated) of imported-from-Italy "Parmigiano Reggiano",
and then grate it yourself by using a grater (or
a food processor, but make sure you remove the hard crust and cut
in small pieces). You can
find good "Parmigiano Reggiano" at the "Cheese shop" in Beaver,
at the Italian shops "Ciao Italia" or "DiSalvo Pasta Product" in
West CollegeAve, or even at Giant, in the specialty cheese section.
As for the olive oil, for best result use Extra Virgin olive oil
of a good trademark, for instance
Carapelli or Bertolli. You can find them at Giant.
It is much better when the oil is young, namely
within one year of the production date.
Microvawe the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until they are soft.
Let them cool, then skin and smash them.
Boil "al dente" the vegetables in a small amount of water, slightly
salted. Let them cool, then chop them in small pieces.
In a large pan, fry in oil the onion and garlic until golden.
Add the vegetables and stir. Cook for about ten minutes.
Remove the pan from the stove.
Add the potatoes and the erbs, minced. Add the cheese.
Add more salt if needed. Add the eggs, scrambled. Mix everything.
Spread the inside of a casserole with oil, then sprinkle
bread crumbs on it, so that the inside surface is all covered with crumbs
and the food won't stick. Put the mixture in the casserole and make
the surface even. Cover uniformly with bread crumbs. Spkinkle a bit of
oil on the surface.
Let it cook in the oven, at 390 (Fahrenheit) degrees, for about 45 minutes.
Let cool a bit before serving. As said before, it's best when it's not too hot.
Buon appetito! - Catuscia