Apparently not every guest at Carolynn’s birthday party made out with as much Chino Farm loot as yours truly. (My apologies to Mike K.) Last night I took a page out of Carolynn’s book, literally, and made an incredible Currant-Pine Nut Relish from the cookbook she co-wrote with Nancy Silverton, A Twist of the Wrist. Carolynn had served this the other night with roasted cauliflower. I wanted to do the same with some of the beautiful little cauliflowers and carrots I scored, and spoon the rest over pork chops. So I grabbed a bunch of purple carrots and a couple baby heads of cauliflower from my haul, tossed them in olive oil, sea salt and pepper and then roasted them in the oven. Meanwhile, I heated up balsamic vinegar, currants, chopped shallots, garlic, arbol chile, a rosemary sprig and kosher salt, and then simmered for about 10 minutes.
Then I tossed in some toasted pine nuts and a little olive oil and simmered for another 30 seconds or so to blend the flavors. In a heavy skillet, I heated a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat and browned the pork chops for several minutes a side. I transferred them to a roasting dish, and put them in the oven to finish roasting along with the carrots and cauliflower. I cracked open a bottle of fruity and earthy Rioja, but cut my thumb on the very sharp foil, which necessitated a ninja band-aid:
Boo-boo notwithstanding, dinner was incredible! The husband went crazy for the veggies and the pine nut relish. I’m going to share this wonderful recipe from Twist of the Wrist, if only to give you a taste of how great this cookbook is. I cooked out of it all last summer, and highly recommend it.
Currant-Pine Nut Relish
Adapted from A Twist of the Wrist, by Nancy Silverton with Carolynn Carreño
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cups dried currants
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (or red onion)
4 large garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 dried arbol chile
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine vinegar, currants, shallots, garlic, arbol chile, rosemary and salt in a small saucepan over high heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until it forms a thick and syrupy glaze. Stir in toasted pine nuts and olive oil and simmer for another 30 seconds to infuse flavors.