Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A True Taste of Boston


Boston is known for many things, history, architecture, great baseball and of course, food! Boston chefs are known the world over for their culinary and gastronomic achievements. And now the best of Boston's restaurants can be in your dining room with the new cookbook; The Boston Chef's Table. Clara Silverstein, who wrote the new cookbook, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about some of the more interesting recipes in the book, including one for a special Sicilian-style Caponata, with a twist. This one's got apples instead of eggplant. It also includes cocoa powder! It comes from celebrated Boston restaurant Oleana. Clara serves it with swordfish, or even by itself!

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sliced leeks
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup peeled and diced apple (Cortland is a favorite for acidity and structure)
1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Callebaut or Valrhona)
1 cup peeled and seeded tomato or tomato puree
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 heaping tablespoon rinsed capers (rinse the brine or salt off of them)
1/2 cup pitted green olives, like picholine
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or sage

1. In a medium sauté pan, cook the leeks, onions and apple with the olive oil on medium-low heat with a tablespoon of water, so that the leeks soften and don’t brown, until everything becomes soft and translucent, about eight minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of salt.

2. Add the cocoa powder, tomato, tomato paste, capers and olives and simmer for about five to six minutes until the vegetables absorb most of the tomato and it becomes thick and jam-like.

3. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve room temperature with roasted butternut squash, burrata or strachiatella cheese, goat cheese, grilled chicken or swordfish.