This time of year makes farm-to-table eating a special celebration. A harvest-themed dinner last week at Providence Point, a senior living community in Pittsburgh, featured ingredients from local farms used in some great new fall recipes developed by Cura chefs.
The harvest dinner highlighted the local foods that are served year round by Cura Hospitality and its parent company, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, which source more than 20 percent of its food locally, supporting area farms and food producers, according to Cheryl Torre Rastetter, Cura Hospitality general manager of dining services.
Residents at Providence Point also can purchase food from community farmer’s markets, which feature the harvest from more than 30 local farms. Cura chefs offer residents recipe ideas, too.
Chefs Caleb Hicks and Scott Beattie developed the recipes for the harvest celebration dinner, which included a salad of duck confit with gorgonzola, poached apples, walnuts and apple chips with apple cider dressing; an “entrée duo” of buffalo brisket with au jus and an apple stuffed quail leg with a potato and butternut squash cake. Dessert was a cranberry poached pear stuffed with Chambord mascarpone and cinnamon pecan brittle.
The meal began with the perfect fall soup: Black Lentil Porridge.
Black Lentil Vegetable Porridge Recipe
YIELD: 1 gallon
¼ cup olive oil/vegetable oil blend
½ lb. carrots, small diced (save the scraps)
½ lb. celery, small diced (save the scraps)
½ lb. onion, minced (save the scraps)
½ lb. turnips, small diced (save the scraps)
½ lb. parsnips, small diced (save the scraps)
3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 gallons water
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 lbs. dry black lentils (any lentil can be used)
3 Tbsps. parsley (de-stemmed and minced)
- Combine the vegetable scraps, 2 gallons of water and half of the salt and pepper and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Meanwhile, sauté the vegetables, except for tomatoes, in oil until tender. Once tender, add the lentils and the tomatoes.
- Strain the vegetable scraps and reserve the stock.
- After the lentils have absorbed all the liquid from the tomatoes add ¼ of the vegetable stock and simmer until absorbed. Repeat this process 2 more times.
- At this point, the lentils should be tender and you can add the remaining ¼ of the vegetable stock. Finish porridge with fresh parsley and remaining salt and pepper. Porridge should be hearty and tender with a small amount of liquid left.
Photo and recipe: Cura