Valencia, Spain A Bone Health Destination
Thanks to the proprietors and chefs at Bar Pilar and La Fórcola restaurants in Valencia, Spain.for a quartet of dishes so rich in bone health nutrients they are our go-to bone health supplements.
Goat Cheese Two Ways al Chef Andrea Chiaramonte
I don’t like goat cheese – at least I didn’t until my husband Chris and I were invited by a Valencian local to her favorite restaurant and she ordered for us. The starters included a zucchini and goat cheese dish I wasn’t sure how I’d get down until I tasted it and then I wondered why we had to share.
A year later, when Laura and I began assemble recipes for the bone health book, I remembered that dish I’d and wondered: how did the chef make something I wouldn’t have considered eating into something I’d cross the ocean to enjoy again?
I inquired about the chance that the chef, whose name I later learned is Andrea Chiaramonte, could recreate that dish for our book. Sr Chiaramonte said he did not recall the dish, as his inspirations rarely make it to the menu – though most certainly they could make it to any gourmet table – but lucky for us he offered to create some new ones. Here are Andrea’s creations.
Recently we were in Valencia and enjoyed this new dish at the restaurant. Andrea told us proudly that he’d sundried the tomatoes that week.
Calabacín carpaccio is the thinnest imaginable slices of raw zucchini stuffed with simply seasoned goat cheese, topped with freshly chopped flat leaf parsley, a dash of fruity cold pressed olive oil and a healthy topping of shaved aged goat cheese and served in a pasta bowl whose edge is dotted with sweet cherry tomatoes.
2 medium zucchini
freshly squeezed lemon juice
aged goat cheese
freshly ground black pepper
chopped flat leaf parsley
Use a sharp slicer to create zucchini strips.
Season the goat cheese with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Mix until the seasoning is absorbed.
Place a heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture at one end of a zucchini slice. Roll up and put in the pasta plate end side down.
When you have rolled all the stuffed slices, grate the goat cheese coarse-grained over the top.
Serve with freshly baked sourdough rolls.
Berenjena Torre is an eggplant tower served with mushroom cheese sauce and yellow bell pepper jam and garnished with sundried tomatoes. We have made this many times now and needless to say you want aged cheese for these dishes.
An immersion blender or food blender
Griddle pan or large heavy-bottom frying pan
a medium size bowl in which you can use an immersion blender 2-quart Pyrex or other baking dish
Berenjena Torre Ingredients
6 champignons (White common mushrooms) 4 sunned portabella mushrooms
1 large clove garlic, minced 3 ozs. fresh goat cheese extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. brandy salt
finely chopped fresh coriander
Mash the goat cheese with salt and pepper and a pinch of chopped coriander until it will hold its shape in a mound. Keep at room temperature or refrigerate if you will be cooking the eggplant later and serving the dish later.
Mushroom Sauce with a Hint of Goat’s Cheese
Wash the white mushrooms and slice them.
Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic lightly. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Leave the garlic in the pan but push it to one side. Season the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir fry until they are soft.
Remove the mushrooms and garlic to a medium-size bowl.
Deglaze the pan with the brandy on medium heat and return mushrooms to the pan. Stir. Return to the bowl and blend until the mushrooms form a thick sauce. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of goat’s cheese to thicken further.
Season the goat’s cheese with a pinch of salt and a healthy pinch of black pepper. Mash until the seasoning is well blended.
Wash and slice the eggplants into 1 inch slices. Salt the slices and put weight on them for at least 1 hour. Rinse and dry thoroughly in paper towel.
Slice the portabella mushrooms into thin slices across the whole of the mushroom rather than into vertical slices. You will have about eight thin flat slices.
Heat a toaster oven or oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease the griddle with a few drops of olive oil which you rub around with a small piece of waxed paper or your finger.
Fry the mushroom slices until they are glazed and limp. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Add more olive oil. Fry the eggplant slices on low/medium heat, turning frequently until each piece is cooked through but still firm. Drain on paper towel.
Build a tower of three eggplant slices with mushroom slices and if you wish, a tad of goat cheese. Put the towers into a baking dish.
Heat in toaster oven or oven until the tops are just slightly browned and the whole is heated through.
Put two dollops of mushroom sauce strategically placed on a flat plate and put one eggplant tower on top of each. Present with a tablespoon of yellow pepper marmalade and decorate with sundried tomatoes, blueberries, or tiny peppers and sprinkle each plate with chopped coriander.
Yellow Pepper Marmalade Ingredients
1 lb organic yellow bell peppers 1/2 c. organic cane sugar
Zest and juice of one organic unwaxed lemon
Cut the peppers in half. Scrape out the pith and seeds. Slice the halves into thin slices and put into a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Leave, covered, for one hour.
Pour the peppers and liquid into a small pan. Heat on low until the mixture begins to thicken. Turn up the heat slightly, stirring constantly, and allow to thicken until the jam consistency you like.
Antonio Canaletti, Proprietor
La Forcola in Valencia, Spain