(courtesy of Tim Magee, owner-chef, Calafuria in Reno. Serves 4)
“Tuscany is known for a rich vegetable soup called ribollita, which has all sorts of vegetables, beans, and old, crusty bread,” Magee says. “Unfortunately, you can’t taste any one vegetable. I was struck with the freshness and incredible flavors of the vegetables I was buying in Tuscany, so I came up with this technique, which allowed me to showcase one vegetable using very few ingredients.”
2 heads broccoli
3½ ounces (about ⅓ to ½ cup) good extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Garnishes (see instructions below):
Rosemary-flavored olive oil
Fried sage leaves
Cut off crowns from broccoli heads. Peel stems and cut in half. Boil crowns and stems in salted water until very tender. Drain and reserve some of the water, about ⅓ to ½ cup.
In blender, purée broccoli with reserved water. As it blends, add olive oil. It will emulsify and become lighter in color.
Warm up soup, then serve it with a drizzle of rosemary oil on top, a sprinkle of crispy pancetta, and fried sage.
To make rosemary oil
Stir 1 tablespoon dried rosemary with about 1 cup olive oil. Allow time to let rosemary infuse oil.
To fry pancetta
Mince 1 to 2 ounces pancetta (some supermarkets sell it minced and packaged). In nonstick pan with a little oil, cook over medium-high heat until crisp.
To fry fresh sage leaves
Dust a moist sage leaf in flour and cook in nonstick pan with a little oil. It will crisp up quickly. Dry on paper towel.