Event: Slow Food Columbus/Flying J Dinner

When I saw the announcement for this year’s Slow Food Columbus/Flying J “Shake the Hand that Feeds You” farm to table dinner (September 8th, save the date!) coming across my Facebook feed this morning, I was reminded of last year’s dinner and the fact I hadn’t written about it yet. Easy to overlook, sadly – not because the dinner wasn’t great (it was!) or memorable (very much so!), but because last year, when it was held in early August, I had only been out of the hospital for about three weeks and was still heavily dependent on a walker and wheelchair to get around. So I was a bit less mobile than I had been in previous years, tired a lot more quickly, and had to depend on Paul to be my eyes, hands, and feet as far as my participating was concerned. To say I was pretty much stationary for the event (when I managed to get to the table, I pretty much stayed there) would be quite accurate, but I still enjoyed the socialization (I hadn’t seen a majority of the people there for upwards of a year), the food and the time for quiet reflection in serene surroundings, which all did very much to renew my spirit.

August, despite being one of the hottest and most humid months of the year, is one of my favorites because many of my favorite things are in the midst of their seasons right then – tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers. But more so than anything else, nothing says summer like a sunflower. There’s such a regal beauty in that blossom – where every photo seems like a painting.

Sunflower

And there couldn’t be a more perfect setting for the dinner. Flying J Farm, less than an hour away from downtown Columbus in rural Johnstown, is Dick Jensen’s retreat and livelihood. From his backyard, where the dinner is held, you can see his pastures off into the distance. And this only one small portion of the property, where he farms and raises cattle to provide his farm market customers and CSA members with good, healthy produce and beef.

Some of Flying J Farm's pastures

When kids attend events at the farm, they have a wonderful time checking out the animals and running back and forth across the footbridge. It’s these little nooks and crannies and places to explore that make experiencing a day at the farm both educational and fun for the little ones.

Footbridge at Flying J Farm

One of the great things about farm-to-table dinners is that decorations are both beautiful AND functional. These particular peaches came from Legend Hills, a nearby orchard . You wouldn’t believe the intoxicating smell – it is one of the scents I most closely associate with summer, and made me want to dive right in.

A Basket of Peaches

There was no shortage of wine at the event – several different ones. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but even I was able to find one that I liked. But that’s usually the case when Patrick and Connie of United Estates are doing the picking.

Bucket of Wines

Wildflowers made up the majority of decoration for the tables.

Wildflowers

More wine…

Bottles of Rose Wine

And Columbus’ own OYO Vodka was used as the base spirit for some very special cocktails made by mixologist Nicoline Schwartz..

Bottle of OYO Vodka

She infused the vodka with hot peppers, which made it a little too hot for my tastes, but my husband thoroughly enjoyed it, as did almost every single person at the event. The peppers were harvested right there at Flying J.

Pepper Infused Vodka Mixture

And the longer it sat, the hotter it got – but with this many peppers in the mix, is it any surprise?

Pepper Infused OYO Vodka Cocktail

The booze kept flowing, and by an hour into the event, most people were thoroughly relaxed and greatly enjoying themselves.

Basil (also picked at the farm).

Lots of Basil

And the food, oh my. Kevin and son Patrick Caskey (from Skillet, Rustic Urban Food) did all of the cooking, drawing inspiration from what was seasonal and grown on the farm.

The dish I enjoyed the most was this grilled cheese sandwich, which was topped with a slice of some of the most succulent and tasty tongue ever. Delicious.

Another Angle of the Killer Grilled Cheese

More wine flowed…

a bottle of Grenache Blanc

…as did locally brewed Columbus Brewing Company’s Summer Teeth Lager.

A Refreshing Bottle of Columbus Brewing Company's Summer Teeth Lager

Chapter Leader Colleen Yuhn recognized a lot of local farmers/artisans for their contributions to ideals that are extremely important and espouse Slow Food ideals. This one, which was presented to Warren Taylor of Snowville Creamery, was especially fitting.

Colleen, doing what Colleen does best

The first time Slow Food Columbus had a pig roast, they underestimated the amount of time it would take to fully cook – this time around they still used the China Box, but adjusted the time for better results.

The China Box (aka Pig Coffin)

Like other farm to table dinners, this one also had a very long table that everyone sits at. We were sitting somewhere in the middle, so the table spanned this distance on both sides. Lots of work goes into making this event run smoothly, so kudos to those who volunteered time and offered donations. It doesn’t go unnoticed.

View of One Half of the Table (Equally as Long in the opposite direction)

The bread was extremely hearty – in past dinners, the bread was provided by Eleni Christina Bakery. If this is not the case this year, please let me know – I want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve.

Bread

Integration Acres (from Athens County, Ohio) made a special batch of goat cheeses.

Goat Cheeses by Integration Acres

Other parts of the tablescape were both functional and tasty – these jars of pickles were opened and shared among everyone. I’m not especially a pickle person, but these pickles were downright addictive.

Pickles, doubling as tasty snack AND table decoration

The roast pig needs to be flipped over in the box before it finishes cooking. I managed to snap a quick pic when the box was opened to do the flipping.

Roast Pig, Ready to Flip Over

As good as the pork was, the beef brisket was hands down one of the most magical dishes of the night – I don’t know if that’s due to the high-quality beef raised at Flying J, or if it is the skill of the Caskeys in preparing food, or a combination of both. Either way, this brisket changed my mind about brisket.
Low & Slow Beef Brisket

Sides were fairly simple, like these roasted potatoes…

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

…a chard chopped salad…

Chard Chopped Salad

…a lovely tomato salad (and have I told you all how much I love summer tomatoes? I have? Well, carry on) …

Tomato Salad

… and surprisingly, the kale and sweet potatos (who knew they went so well together?)…

Kale and Sweet Potatoes

…and some sautéed red cabbage.

Red Cabbage

Everything was so vibrant and beautiful – this dinner, which has become an annual thing, is truly summer’s last hurrah. I wish I could have gotten more pictures of the food, but by the time we all sat down to eat, it was too dark for pictures. But the dishes, here in their serving dishes, should give you a good idea of what kind of things to expect.

This year, the event is on September 8th. Tickets go on sale today at noon right here, and are $75 for Slow Food members, or $100 per person for non-members. It may seem steep, but given the quality and presentation of the food, it’s worth every penny. If you’d like to go, don’t wait to buy your tickets until tomorrow – historically, it has sold out very quickly, so get in while the getting is good. For more information, please check out the Slow Food Columbus site.

Event: Slow Food Columbus/Nida’s "Off the Menu"

Say what you will about Slow Food Columbus (or the Slow Food movement in general, for that matter), but their events are never boring. When I learned they were starting a new event called “Off the Menu”, which would allow chefs at local restaurants to serve dishes they traditionally eat or make for their staff but that you don’t usually find on their menu, I knew it was something that I’d be interested in. Then when I saw that the inaugural one would be held at Nida’s Thai on High, a place that I haven’t been to yet, but have been wanting to try for ages, that sealed the deal for me. I decided to go alone to this one, because after discovering Paul’s shellfish allergy, we wanted to err on the side of caution.

I was greeted at the bar with a choice of complimentary cocktail – their brilliant bartender Vivian Loh (who I’m familiar with from CU and Twitter) comes up with some inventive combinations, and these were two of the new summer drinks. I could have chosen a gin and tonic made with cucumber and cilantro, or the one I went with, which I don’t remember the name of. I remember that it had Cointreau, cardamom syrup, almond liqueur, and a couple of things that slip my mind – it was sweet, strong and GOOD.

New Cocktail at Nida's Thai on High

The menu for this event focused primarily on two regions of Thailand that are different than we’re used to – none of the curries that usually show up on Thai menus were included, which is sort of the point of the event – to go outside the comfort zone of both the restaurant and the diners. A nice bit of information about the cuisines of the different regions was also provided.

Slow Food Columbus/Nida's Thai on High "The Flavors of Thailand" Dinner

First up was the Soup Nor Mai (Spicy Bamboo Shoot Salad). This course was one that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It didn’t taste anything like it smelled, thankfully. :) It had a nice layered complexity to it, where each bite brought out a different aspect of it – a bit fishy, a bit vinegary, mint in this bite, cilantro in the next, but all around good stuff. I would order this regularly.

Soup Nor Mai

I think the next course was the overwhelming favorite of the entire room. The Kor Moo Yang (Grilled Pork Collar) wasn’t the most tender cut of meat, but it was definitely one of the most flavorful. It was brilliantly seasoned, was served with sticky rice and a sauce that you spooned over (that reminded me a bit of the vinaigrette usually served with Vietnamese dishes) and was hands down my personal favorite. If this ever made it to the regular menu, Nida’s would be a frequent stop of mine. Hell, it just may be a frequent stop anyway, but this would be a bonus.

Kor Moo Yang

If the Kor Moo Yang was a universal favorite, the Namm (Preserved Pork) was the most divisive dish (it is the larger slices on the top right). The taste was great, but the chewy texture was a bit offputting for some. To me, it reminded me a bit of the tendon meatball one finds in pho, so I didn’t mind it one bit. Others had differing opinions. Most everyone seemed to enjoy the Sai Grog Isaan (Isaan-Style Sausage), though.

Sai Grog Isaan and Namm

The first set of dishes were all from the Isaan region of Thailand, and before embarking on the specialties of Central Thailand (where Nida’s hometown, Bangkok, is located), we were served a palate cleanser of Nam Ta Krai (lemongrass juice). It had an almost savory quality to it even though it was highly sweetened. Delicious in small quantities (I would buy a cocktail that had this as a mixer in a hot second), but cloying as a large glass.

Nam Ta Krai

The Kai Pa Loh (Hard Boiled Egg with Pork in Soy) was also pretty universally enjoyed across the board. Pork shoulder was braised in a cooking liquid redolent with five spice, and then served with a hard boiled egg half. The pork was incredibly tender, and the dish was incredibly flavorful without being overly so. And although I’m not usually a fan of tofu, I really liked it in this dish, because it gave the tofu a creamy texture that was extremely pleasing.

Kai Pa Loh

The Gang Pa (Spicy Soup with Tilapia) was probably the spiciest dish of the night, which is the greatest surprise to me because I always assumed that all Thai food was super-spicy. The heat was fairly understated, though (it only hurt if you breathed in while eating), but built up after a while. The whole dish was super-light, which is a nice change from some of the heavier dishes.

Gang Pa

I love bean thread noodles, so I really enjoyed the Pad Woon Sen (Stir Fried Bean Thread Noodles with Tomato and Tofu), even though others at my table found it a bit unremarkable. With the addition of a bit of meat-based protein (I’m not a fan of fried tofu), I could see myself eating this as a main dish. I just wish more restaurants in town would offer it as an option.

Pad Woon Sen

Unfortunately, I was not a fan in the least of the Gra Pow Moo (Ground Pork with Chicken Gizzards in Basil), but I owe that completely to my aversion to chicken gizzards rather than the chef’s preparation. It’s a textural thing for me, others at my table seemed to enjoy it, though.

Gra Prow Moo

And I was also pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the Num Kang Sai (Thai Fruit with Coconut Milk on Ice). I couldn’t identify what the original fruits are (the most I got from our server was that it was some sort of melon jelly), but I liked what the sweet coconut milk did in combination with it. I understood the purpose of the ice in there (to keep the whole thing ice cold until you were done eating it), but it got a bit confusing trying to figure what was ice and what was fruit. And I would have enjoyed it more with a different ratio of fruit to coconut milk – the coconut milk was rich (and sweet) enough that I ran out of fruit long before I finished the dessert and ended up leaving most of the coconut milk behind.

Num Kang Sai

I really respect the team at Nida’s for being the first to be willing to go “off the menu” and give diners a new experience. I particularly liked that this was an opportunity for me to try new things without any real pressure, which allowed me to discover new things about my own likes and dislikes. It also allowed me to experience the beautiful Nida’s space for the first time, which has given me the impetus to want to go back again for a meal.

I can’t wait to see which restaurant they focus on for the next “Off the Menu” – with all of the culinary talent we have in Columbus, I’m looking forward to see what our local chefs come up with.

If you’d like to join Slow Food Columbus (members can go to events for a substantial discount): Slow Food USA (make sure to specify the Columbus convivium as the one you’d like to join)
If you’d like to go to the restaurant: Nida’s Thai on High, 976 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43201, 614-219-9199

Event: Wayward Seed Harvest Dinner

I absolutely love going to Slow Food Columbus events. The dinners are usually nothing short of amazing. So when Trattoria La Tavola paired up with Wayward Seed Farm in order to offer a seven course harvest dinner on October 26th, many Slow Food members and friends decided to accept their gracious invitation to attend.

I love what they do over at Wayward Seed – I cannot tell you how many heirloom varieties of fruits and veggies I’ve enjoyed from the farmer’s markets this year due to their dedication to picking stellar produce to grow. And those fresh, local ingredients, in the hands of a skilled chef? Well, see for yourself.

The only unfortunate thing about the dinner is that it was held in the evening, after it was already dark. My pictures are less than stellar, since I was forced to use a flash to get any picture at all. Hopefully my descriptions of the dishes will do them the justice that my photographs will not.

The first course was a house-cured bresaola, which was served with olive oil dressed arugula, pickled Jimmy Nordello sweet pepper and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. The bresaola was delicious, and the peppers were both sweet and piquant at the same time – pickling them was just the thing needed to preserve both qualities long enough for them to be available for the dinner. The cheese was a nice offset to the sweetness of the peppers.

House Cured Bresaola

The second course was playfully called “PB & J”, which was quite literally, a sandwich made from home-made brioche spread with foie gras and chicken liver pate and Ohio concord grape puree. It was definitely unusual – I absolutely loved the concord grape puree, but found the combination of the pate and the grape puree together a little cloying.

PB&J

The third course was a House Cured Pancetta Crostino, with lacinato kale, poached quail eggs and California dry jack cheese. The pancetta and the kale (which was sweetened lightly with I don’t know what) were absolutely fantastic, and I felt like the cheese once again was a great offset to the other ingredients. I thought the bread and quail egg weren’t completely necessary to the success of the dish, and just took away from the quality of the other ingredients.

House-Cured Pancetta Crostino

The fourth course was my personal favorite – the White Acorn Squash Raviolo, with winter savory Amish brown butter and aged Oakvale gouda. The particular squash variety they used, a Thelma Sanders heirloom variety, needed nothing more than salt and pepper to make it one of the best pasta fillings I’ve ever encountered. It was sweet, naturally buttery and creamy and just out of this world. I bought all they had available over the next market or two, and now have two of the squash sitting in my pantry waiting for me to try to recreate this fantastic dish. If this were on the menu regularly at Trattoria La Tavola, I’d definitely be eating there a lot more often than I do.

White Acorn Squash Raviolo

The fifth course, a Sauteed Muscovy Duck over California dry jack polenta topped with Aunt Molly ground cherry and white raisin mostarda, used one of my favorite ingredients (ground cherries) in a savory way that I never thought of using it. The duck was cooked perfectly, and the sweetness of the mostarda was just what the dish needed to shine.

Sauteed Muscovy Duck

The sixth course, a Fennel and Herb Crusted Ohio Pork Loin, was a honkin’ huge (I mean huge – had to be at least an 8 oz portion) thick slice of pork loin served with a chanterelle mushroom reduction and green mountain potatoes pommes anna. The serving was so substantial I had a hard time finishing it after all the other courses. The potatoes were prepared simply, with lots of butter.

Fennel and Herb Crusted Ohio Pork Loin

The seventh course, a Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin Budino with Maple Gelato, was also a favorite. It paired a bread-pudding like sweet pumpkin pudding with homemade maple ginger gelato, pecan, hickory nut and marsala caramel. Just yum all around – the combination of flavors was nothing short of perfection.

Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin Budino with Maple Gelato

My tablemates made the experience so much more fun, and included Anne, someone who I later found out was a regular reader (hi there!), and someone whose face I was familiar with as they’re an employee at my one of my favorite stores, Trader Joes. It was a lovely experience, and I’m so glad I decided to go even if Paul wasn’t able to attend.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to attend one of the Slow Food Columbus dinners or a special dinner that encompasses Slow Food principles, I recommend you take the plunge and give it a try. I’ve yet to experience anything that didn’t knock my socks off. Honestly, it’s some of the best food I’ve eaten in this town. Give the next one a try (after I get my tickets, of course!).

Event: SFC Locavore Dinner!

I try to attend as many of the Slow Food Columbus events as I possibly can, as the combination of food (or drink) and company always guarantees an enjoyable experience. So when the Slow Food Columbus “Shake the Hand That Feeds You” Locavore Dinner at Flying J Farm was announced, I didn’t think twice before signing Paul and I up.

Which is both a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing, because from what I understand, all the seats sold out to Slow Food members before tickets were even available to non-members. A bad thing, because I didn’t realize that Paul had to go into work that night. Our mistake, though – and one that Colleen and Bear went out of their way to accommodate, thankfully.

As I said, this event is one that I’ve been looking forward to since it was pitched at a Slow Food brainstorming meeting a few months ago. Dick Jensen of Flying J Farm was generous enough to host the event at his farm and provide many of the ingredients used for the dinner. Dick is one of my favorite farmers at the Clintonville Farmers Market, I think I may have bought just about every short rib he had last year, and I think that’s why he remembered me this year. In addition to excellent grass-fed beef, he also sells a spelt flour that I absolutely love. Not to mention veggies as well.
His farm, about an hour outside of Columbus on the far end of Johnstown, is absolutely breathtaking – I wish I would have got there early enough for the farm tour. Unfortunately, I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked of the event – although other attendees, like Bethia and Colleen did. (I’m sure more accounts of the event will pop up on people’s blogs, and will update this entry as needed with links). It was nice to see many familiar faces (like CMHGourmand, Roland, Anne, Colleen & Bear, etc.) and to also meet new people as well (like the Rigsby’s who made great company at the communal table as my neighbors).

The evening, through my eyes, is extremely picture intensive, so click on through to continue.

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Event: Slow Food Columbus Dinner at The Refectory

You all already know how much I love The Refectory, so when Slow Food Columbus announced that their next dinner would be there, I was the first person to buy tickets, as I’ve never been disappointed by anything I’ve been served in that establishment.

The dinner was held on the patio (who knew they had a patio? I didn’t until last night). The weather, although warm, was fairly comfortable due to the nice breeze. As we waited for the others, we perused the program and drooled in anticipation of the deliciousness that was yet to come.

Menu for SFC Dinner at the Refectory

All of the wines poured last night were from Ohio wineries, which was awesome. Ohio is very underrated when it comes to wine, and I wish more people would give the wineries from Ohio a chance. I found a couple tonight that I absolutely loved, like the 2007 Kinkead Ridge White Revelation that was served with the Hors d’oeuvre. They started by passing out several lovely appetizer bites, like this English cucumber/dill cream on toast.

English Cucumber Bite

My favorite Hors d’oeuvre was this bit of puff pastry topped with Montcharet cheese and a flavorful tomato. So elegant and delicious. I’m going to try to reproduce this one at home using only Ohio ingredients.

Tomato/Goat Cheese Bite

And they also passed out a classic gougere, a mouthful of cheesy choux pastry. I’ve worked with choux before, and have always wanted to explore the savory side of it. I think I’m going to try to make these at home also.

Gougere

Our second course was an emu egg omelette. If you’re not familiar with an emu egg, it’s very large, and a blue-green color. Any egg dish prepared with an emu egg is very light in color and mild in taste, due to the small yolk vs. lots of white balance of the egg itself. While all by itself, it can be bland, the Refectory found a way to jazz it up considerably. With layers (from top to bottom) of chives, tomato, mushrooms, and smoked salmon, it struck a beautiful balance that I enjoyed immensely.

Emu Egg Omelette

The next course incorporated one of my favorite ingredients – morel mushrooms! Here, they were layered with puff pastry and white asparagus in a nice feuilette that really hit the spot.

Feuilette with White Asparagus and Morel Mushrooms

Our entree was flat iron steak with a green peppercorn sauce, which was served with a layered potato gratin, creamed spinach, and sauteed shiitake mushrooms. Did you know that the flat iron steak, which comes from the chuck, or shoulder area of a cow, is the second most tender cut of steak (with tenderloin being first, natch)? This was so tender that it could be cut with a butter knife. Bravo! I really, really liked every aspect of this dish.

Flat Iron Steak with Green Peppercorn Sauce

Winding down, we were presented with a cheese plate, that featured cheeses from Ohio and Michigan – from left to right, a Cambozola Bleu Brie, Oakvale Farmstead Cheese Gouda, Lake Erie Creamery Blomma, more gouda, and finally another brie. These were served with a dressed microcress salad. I especially enjoyed the Cambozola, and will be seeking some of that out from my favorite cheesemonger at Curds & Whey later.

Cheese Plate

Finally, a lovely dessert of Ohio strawberries in two presentations – one simply with some puff pastry and chantilly cream, the other a teacup full of strawberry mousse that knocked my socks off. I love when restaurants incorporate local seasonal ingredients, and these strawberries are Ohio at their best.

Ohio Strawberry Dessert Duo

All in all, my husband and I had a wonderful time (we expected no less of the Refectory, and the Slow Food Columbus dinners are never anything less than amazing), and we can’t wait until the next one. As for The Refectory, they’re having their First Friday dinner tonight (not too late to get reservations!) which feature a lot of similar dishes. If not that, I heartily recommend their Bistro Menu, served Monday to Thursday, which I consider the best dining deal in Columbus ($22 for three fabulous courses).

Savory Rhubarb Tart

I had originally meant for this dish to be an entry for the Root Source Challenge: Rhubarb event, but it looks like I just missed the deadline by a few hours, so instead the entry will be about my love/hate relationship with rhubarb.

I don’t hate rhubarb, per se – I’ve just always thought it to be ubiquitous because every time I’ve had it it’s been paried with strawberry; strawberry-rhubarb jam, strawberry-rhubarb cobbler, well – you get the idea. And I’ve always found it to be unnecessary in those forms – it just added a weird stringy texture to the dishes that I thought didn’t work as well as strawberry would have alone. So I’ve been content to pass by the bunches of rhubarb at the farmer’s markets the past couple of weeks, until someone made a savory rhubarb dish that totally changed my mind.

rhubarbtart

At a Slow Food Columbus meeting last week, the fearless leader of our convivium, Colleen, made an awesome tart with rhubarb and goat cheese. My first attempt followed her directions exactly (barring the pie crust I used in place of the galette dough – I was short on time, and using a round tart pan because I don’t have a square or rectangular one). I made a neat discovery during that first attempt – the candied rosemary walnuts I used added a hint of sweetness that just rocked, so on a second attempt at the recipe, I made a couple of changes. Like squirting a touch of balsamic glaze on top of the onions, once again using the candied rosemary walnuts (which you can get at the Greener Grocer at the North Market if you’re a Columbus local), and adding some prosciutto shredded on top for a bit of texture and saltiness. The second attempt totally worked for me – it was a bit more complex, but each flavor played off of the other. I think I’m going to use this recipe often – it’s quick, simple, and absolutely delicious. Thanks, Colleen, for sharing the recipe.

Savory Rhubarb Tart
recipe courtesy Colleen Braumoeller

First, make a galette dough*:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter (Plugra or similar), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
7 tbsp iced water

Directions: Mix flour, sugar and salt; cut butter in with a pastry cutter. Add ice water slowly, as needed, until dough sticks together. Do not overwork. Separate into two disks, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes. (You will only use one disk for this tart.)

*Consult baking cookbook for more technique-related information for a successful galette dough.

Next, for the contents of the tart:

3 cups rhubarb stalks, cut into 3 inch lengths and then cut on a bias (be sure to remove the leaves, as they are poisonous)
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
nuts — either pine nuts (1/2c), pecans or walnuts (3/4c), toasted
half a red onion, sliced thin
1 head garlic
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp white sugar
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus drizzles for garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roast a head of garlic: cut top of head off, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes. (Extra garlic cloves are great spread on bread, in pasta dishes, etc…)

Turn oven up to 400 F. Poach red onions in olive oil over low heat until thoroughly soft, no browning. While they soften, mix the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom with the rhubarb. Set aside.

Roll out one disk of dough and place in a 10″ square tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess and save for another use. To assemble the tart, remove red onions from olive oil, reserving oil for later. Crush 4 or 5 cloves of the roasted garlic. Place onions and garlic on bottom of tart. Layer nuts on top of onions and garlic. Arrange rhubarb in aesthetically pleasing pattern atop nuts. Drizzle remaining onion-infused olive oil over top of tart. Place tart on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for approximately 30-35 minutes. Tart will pull away from pan and will be golden when done.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Dapple small pieces of goat cheese across top of tart and serve.

Event: Slow Food Columbus UE Wine Dinner at Alana’s

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m a firm believer in eating locally, for numerous reasons. There’s the environmental factor, of course. It keeps Ohio farmers in business. It encourages production of artisanal foods. It allows you to develop relationships with your food producers. It allows you to expand your horizons, because said food producers are as passionate about food as you are, and introduce you to new things or methods or teach you about something that’s important to them. Not to mention that fresh, sustainable, seasonal food just tastes better. It is for these reasons and more that I decided to join the local Columbus convivium of Slow Food USA.

The Columbus convivium is still in its infancy, and as a fairly new group, only has a few events under its belt. I unfortunately didn’t get in on the inaugural event, as tickets were sold out before I knew I had the date free. But I did make it a priority to get tickets as soon as they were available for the most recent event, the United Estates Wine Imports dinner at Alana’s, this past Sunday.

UE_Alanas

If you were there, you know how amazing it was. If you weren’t, I welcome you to join me vicariously, as I take you through the evening dish by dish. Click through (picture intensive) to begin.

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