Fancy Dinner, Saturday in July

Last night, we had an abundance of vegetables from our CSA share as well as herbs from the garden and the CSA share.

Here’s out menu:

Green Salad with cucumbers, carrots, peas and tomatoes

Grilled Veal Loin Chops marinated with lemon juice, white wine, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar

Roasted Green Beans with olive oil and salt finished with chopped fresh parsley

Rotini and Fresh Pesto (pesto containing basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, sea salt and freshly ground pepper)

Zucchini Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Wine for the salad and main course was Giovello Pinot Grigio (yes, I was originally suckered in by the blue bottle with the dragon fly on the label, but it’s decent and it’s been one of the house wines around here for years.)

The star of this show was definitely the veal.  Before anyone takes me to task on serving veal, I want it to be clear that I bought this veal from the farmer from whom I get most of our meat.  Unlike the white, anemic sort of veal one of my cookbooks advised me to buy, this meat was quite pink.  Here is what the farm’s website has to say about the veal:

Veal – rose veal is what the French refer to it as the calves are left with their mothers to nurse when they like and are on pasture as well getting the grass with high Omegas, Vitamin D, fresh air and sunshine. We just started doing this last year and have had wonderful feedback. It is truly a taste that you won’t forget. Although some people have an issue with the concept, we can’t keep all of the animals, especially jersey bull calves, and have to realize that this is a business as well.

This meat was quite tasty and very tender.  The marinade worked really well with the pesto.  I would definitely do this again.  Of course only with meat that I can trace back to its source, but then again, that’s how we are with all of our land based meat these days.  If I didn’t have access to meat from two really good farms, I think I’d have to go vegetarian again, or at least pescatarian.  And that’s not really what I want.  As Sandor Ellix Katz says in his book, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved’, “Eating meat requires death, yes, but not torture.”   That is something I can live with. 

Tonight, our dinner will include grilled chicken breasts with the bone in and the skin on since I have no interest in eating boneless skinless chicken breasts touted by nutritionists obsessed with “lean meats”.  Even if I wanted to, I’d have to remove the skin and debone them myself since our farmer doesn’t sell them that way.  The rest of the week will see some vegetarian selections including eggplant parmesan and the zucchini and summer squash pie with feta cheese and herbs topped with phyllo crust.  It’s going to be a good food week.

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