Small Plates, Appetizers as Meals
Marguerite Marceau Henderson
Gibbs Smith, 2006
Simple. Satisfying, Beautiful. Inventive. Traditional. These are the words I use to describe the recipes developed and/or refined by Marguerite Marceau Henderson. She is the only cookbook author that has intrigued me enough to buy a second book.
The simplicity and flavors of this traditional soup make it a favorite and the ingredients make it healthy and satisfying. It is a good meal when I’ve spent the day in self-chosen solitary confinement and not given a thought to what’s for dinner. It’s even better when the weather is a little cool and the body wants comfort.
But looking at it and now thumbing through her book splattered with smudges and notes, I will have to share a few other recipes in the future. She is especially creative with interesting snaps of flavor the home cook can have trouble mastering. I think you will enjoy them. At least I know my husband does and so have guests.
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced (here I cheat with one, ah well)
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can (14 oz.) chopped tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water (or what I want)
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans with liquid (Ick, I rinse them)
1 cup dry small pasta (ditalini, shells, farfallini, orzo)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T chopped, fresh rosemary
1 T chopped, fresh basil
4-5 C fresh spinach leaves
1 C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
In a medium saucepan heat oil and sauté onion, celery, and carrots for 3 to 5 minutes over low heat, stirring often. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, north, and water; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add beans, pasta, and salt. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes until pasta is cooked through. Stir in rosemary, basil, and spinach; cook on hot heat until spinach is just wilted. Serve at once with cheese on top. Makes 4 servings.