Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bruculinu, America

    This is truly an amazing book. Bruculinu, America, written by the late Vincent Schiavelli,* has many recipes and traditions from when he grew up in Brooklyn. The book really "clicked" with me because I recognize many of the recipes and some of the traditions. The book can be purchased on The original price was $24, however, I had to pay close to $40. When my book came in the mail, I was totally thrilled. Although it was a used copy it was in excellent condition and autographed. My middle son is really getting into Italian/Sicilian cooking and researching his Italian roots. (I can see a big smile on my late mother's face. Priceless... as they say.) I decided to treat him to an autographed copy of this book. Mind you it has jumped in price again... big time. But he's worth it.

    One of the recipes that I never got around to getting from my mother was Green Bean and Potato Salad. My husband thought I was going to do cartwheels when I found the recipe in this book. I may get myself into a bit of trouble, but I will share the recipe with you.
    Schiavelli writes that this salad is usually served warm but it can be served chilled as well. My mother would agree as we might eat it warm and the leftover served chilled. Either way it is wonderful.

Nsalata 'i Fasoleddi Virdi e Patati

For 6 servings

3 lbs. small red new potatoes, about the size of small limes
Sea salt
2 lbs. flat Italian or round Blue Lake green beans (which is what we used)
1 large red onion
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper

    Scrub the potatoes and put them in a pot with lightly salted cold water to cover over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes offer little resistance when pierced with a fork, 20-30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, clean and snap off the ends of the green beans. Place a steamer over the stove. When the water comes to a boil, put the beans in the steamer basket. Steam the beans until tender, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on their thickness.
    Halve the onion, thinly slice it, separate the pieces and put them in a large serving bowl. Mix in the vinegar. When the green beans are cooked, drain and put them in the bowl. Season with salt and toss.
    When the potatoes are cooked, run cold water into the pot to stop the cooking process and drain them thoroughly. When cool enough to handle, slip them out of their jackets.
    Put the potatoes in the serving bowl, season with salt and toss. Add the olive oil and toss again. Finish with a few grindings of black pepper. Serve warm.

*Yes, you might recognize him from the movie Ghost... so therefore, Patrick Swayze had an old friend waiting for him in heaven.)