Last night I made dinner for the roommates and a friend who broke her elbow (!). I'd been meaning to use up some of our dried goods, so I decided to make a risotto with mushrooms, peas, and fresh thyme. I didn't feel like salad but wanted something green, and concocted a lovely side of steamed kale with sauteed garlic, marinated cannelli beans, and Tomatoes Provencal. I didn't realize when I set out on this endeavor that Tomatoes Provencal are traditionally breaded and baked. I didn't have bread crumbs on hand, but I did have cornmeal and parmesan, which I blended with dried Herbes de Provence and fresh thyme and liberally sprinkled on halved roma tomatoes before popping them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. They turned out well -- I think this dish is a nice way to add a splash of color to a meal without too much work (or too much more food).
My roommate's contribution was a bottle of Meron Primitivo, which was fantastic. Originating in Veglie (south of Puglia), Italy, Meron is 100% Primitivo grapes, vinified in stainless steel tanks. The skins are left 7-8 days in contact with the must, resulting in a full body and hearty but smooth character. Plums and cherries dominate the nose, and the mouth feel is velvety and supple. Not as juicy and tart as Primitivos I've encountered, but really nice with the risotto and kale.
Produced by Azienda Vinicola Durante. Imported by Iatesta Imports, Philadelphia. 14% ABV.