Maine bounty

Posted July 14, 2009, at 5:10 p.m.

Blue Hill for Buggywhip and brie

James Beard award nominee Rich Hanson, the mastermind behind the Ellsworth tapas restaurant Cleonice, recently opened a new establishment in Blue Hill. Table, a farmhouse bistro, features a menu focused squarely on the Pine Tree State — from local produce, meats and dairy to a fresh, contemporary take on classic Maine eats, such as bean-hole beans and lobster pot-au-feu, a decadent, white wine-based stew. While the dinner menu is truly a fine dining experience, the lunch and light fare menu is perfect for a simple meal. Personally, I’m eager to try the Ploughman’s Lunch: Maine Buggywhip cheddar, brie made at Brooksville’s Sunset Acres Farm, and a slice of pate or terrine, served with crusty bread, Eastport’s own Raye’s Mustard and homemade pickles. All made in Maine and all delicious. For the full menu, visit www.farmkitchentable.com, call 374-5677, or visit Table at 66 Main St., Blue Hill.

Lobster libations

The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine and Mariner Beverages, based in Portland, have collaborated on a new wine specifically designed to pair with lobster. Big Claw, as the wine is called, is a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, colombard and chenin blanc grapes, and was selected from several other blends by a panel of wine buyers and distributors and food professionals. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Big Claw will be donated to the Lobster Institute, to further its research and outreach work with the lobster industry. The wine has been distributed to a variety of food and wine shops throughout Maine; for more information, call 699-2939.

Reinventing Broccoli

If you’ve been visiting your local farmers market regularly, you’ve noticed an abundance of broccoli this year. Long the bane of the typical 6-year-old, as well as of former President George H.W. Bush, broccoli gets a bad rap. Personally, I’m just fine eating it raw, but multitudes out there still shudder at the thought of snacking on the odd-looking green vegetable. Parents and broccoliphobes should try this recipe; you’ll never think of broccoli in the same way again. Take 4 or 5 pounds of broccoli (when you wash it, make sure it dries thoroughly), cut into medium-size florets and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper on a cookie sheet. Add four sliced garlic cloves. Roast in a 425-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Take it out when it’s slightly crispy, and cover it in the zest and juice of one lemon, a handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, some toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds. I made this last week, and I easily could have eaten several pounds of it by myself. If you find yourself with a few heads of broccoli, give this recipe a whirl. You won’t be disappointed. Then again, cover just about anything in olive oil, cheese and garlic, and it’ll probably be good.

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