November 1997

the Jordan family

81 members -- yes, count them -- of the Jordan family outside Casa Tino's

Four Oaks, West Midlands 17 November 1997 In honour of Kim's Auntie Dinny's 70th birthday, the entire Jordan family gathered yesterday for Sunday lunch at Casa Tino's, David Jordan's superb and popular bistro-style restaurant in Mere Green. Though the core of the family remains firmly based in the Midlands, others, ourselves included, came from far and wide, and in the end, eighty-one, yes, eighty-one of us sat down to enjoy company, family reminiscences, and great food and wine. Kim's grandparents had six children: Beryl, Arthur, Tiny, Charlie, Cynthia (Dinny), and Diane and yesterday's gathering represented all present generations, with the exception of only one or two who could not make it, and ranging in age from octogenarians to toddlers. In other cultures, even in Europe, such gatherings, albeit if not quite so comprehensive, would be more regular occurences, the opportunity to share daily food and drink the excuse for the mingling of the generations. However, such a good time was had by all that there is already talk of the next Jordan gathering: for the millenium!
Chef Richard Turner, who oversees both Casa Tino's as well as Loyds in Knowle, prepared a simple but stylish meal which was enjoyed by all: to begin, a richly concentrated cream of vegetable soup "en croute", then breast of chicken with a mignonette of coarsely crushed black peppercorns in an intensely flavoured wine and veal sauce. I'm a great fan of Richard's cuisine: he has the knack of creating foods that are not overly elaborate or fussy but which really taste. I hope to post his recipes from yesterday's meal here in due course, but in the meantime, here's one of his recipes for a favorite classic, minestrone soup with pesto.


Richard'sMinestrone Soup with Pesto

1 litre good quality vegetable stock

500 g. brunoise of mixed vegetables (finely chopped) -- carrots, celery, shallots, broccoli, french beans, kidney beans

120 g fusilli pasta

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the Pesto

About 40 pine kernels

2 cloves garlic

125 g parmesan cheese

300 ml extra virgin olive oil

To make the pesto, simply place the pine kernals, garlic, parmesan cheese and basil leaves into a fast liquidizer, then add the olive oil and season to taste.
For the minestrone, saute the root vegetables in olive oil until al dente. Add the vegetable stock and simmer gently for five minutes. Remove from the heat. In a separate saucepan of boiling water cook the broccoli until al dente, then refresh in iced water. Follow the same procedure for the french beans. Wash the kidney beans. Cook the pasta until al dente then refresh in iced water.
To serve, take the vegetable stock with the brunoise of vegetables into a stainless steel or copper saucepan, heat and add the pasta, broccoli, french beans and kidney beans. Heat through until all ingredients are warm and season to taste. Serve in a warm deep bowl, drizzle the pesto on top, and finish with ground black pepper. Additional flaked parmesan cheese can be added if so required.

Wine Suggestion: Pesto, of course, is the great dish of Liguria: if you can get ahold of a bottle, try this super vegetable medley with a zesty Cinque Terre white. Alternatively, one of the fuller Vermentino whites from Bolgheri would be a good partner, or else a robust, dry rose such as Vin Ruspo from Carmignano. MM

Recipe © Richard Turner



Copyright © Marc Millon 2000


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