Comfort food as far as the eye could see, thought the librarycook, leafing through the May issue of Delicious. From the front cover on, with its talk of pasta bakes, soups, crumbles and cakes, it seemed certain that the librarycook would find all manner of mouth-watering comestibles to choose from. And in these unpredictable times, isn’t a little bit of home-cooked comfort what we all need?
So where to start? It had to be with soup – the chicken and risoni soup with greens and gremolata to be precise. Who doesn’t enjoy a thoroughly warming soup, as winter draws near? And it was a recipe to gladden the librarycook’s heart – a little preparation, and then an hour and a half’s uninterrupted reading as the chicken poached, plenty of time to grapple with Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex. The resulting soup was both hearty and delectable – with the gremolata adding a zesty touch.
Next up was a slow-cooked porchetta – sadly, this would have benefited from less reading time, as it was a little over-cooked, but it deserves to become a regular feature of winter meals chez librarycook. Again the final touch, the salsa verde, lifted it out of the ordinary – much like Cal’s life in Middlesex, if the librarycook may be allowed that comparison. Acompanying it were Annabel Crabb’s addictive glass potatoes – if the librarycook achieves nothing else but to convince her reader to try them, her blogposts will have done their work.
Baked gnocchi with pesto parmesan bechamel was the final recipe to gladden the librarycook’s eye. One for a weeknight, with its relatively short cooking time, yet still allowing some precious reading time – devoted to a re-read of Ben Aaronovitch’s first Rivers of London book – police procedural meets Harry Potter, it’s been described as, and as warm and comforting as the gnocchi. Sometimes a familiar book, along with something gently comforting to eat, is just what the librarycook needs to feel that all’s right with the world.