Thursday, August 4, 2011

Recipe: Minestrone Milanese

by Nicki M.

This recipe is from a cooking class that I took from local chef and author Robin Asbell. I make it a lot in the winter, but almost all of the vegetables are included in this week's harvest! Robin teaches a variety of classes at the local co-ops and cooking stores. 

Minestrone Milanese
by Robin Asbell

Yield: Makes 8 servings
2 hours

•  4 cups water (can add more if necessary)
• 1 whole bay leaf
•  1 piece Parmesan rind (apx. 1/2" x 3")
•  1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
•  1 large onion, slivered
•  1 Tbsp fresh thyme
•  1 large carrot, chopped
•  2 whole celery stalks, thinly sliced
•  2 cloves garlic, minced
•  2/3 pound canned tomatoes, roughly chopped
•  1/4 cup parsley, chopped
•  1 Tbsp dried basil 
•  2 cups Swiss chard, cleaned and chopped
•  1 small zucchini, sliced then quartered
•  1/2 cup orzo
•  1 can (15-16oz.) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained 
•  salt to taste
•  grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish 

Make broth by simmering the Parmesan rind in water with bay leaf. In a 4-quart pot, sauté the onion, thyme, carrot and celery in olive oil until tender and golden. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Remove the bay leaf and Parmesan rind from the stock and add stock to the sautéed vegetables. Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, swiss chard, zucchini, orzo and beans. Simmer for 7 minutes to cook orzo. Salt to taste, garnish with grated Parmesan and serve.

Cooks notes:
•  You can substitute in-season, fresh ingredients (such as tomatoes and basil) for canned or dried. 
• Whenever I use up a chunk of Parmesan cheese, I save the outer edge rind in the freezer to use for this recipe. I prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano.
• I like the tri-colored, veggie orzo from the bulk food bins.
• I've also used "melon seed" pasta instead of orzo, found by the ethnic Mexican foods at Rainbow/Cub. It's a little cheaper.
• I serve this as a main dish with crusty bread. It's also great as leftovers.



main ingredients: 
bean, tomato, chard, zucchini

dietary considerations: 


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