October 12, 2009

Il Trito

Simplicity often masquerades complexity. At least that's what I'm finding as of late. A little bit of this and a bit of that...finely, so finely chopped or pureed. Added, it dissolves. Perhaps a trace color left behind. Then a taste of the finished what have you, and you're left dumbfounded.

I'm not exactly sure what possessed me to take this hidden step. It might just be my desire to embolden the simple soup or sauce. To elicit a different flavor, add depth. Maybe I just want to cradle a mystery in the sacrum of our wooden spoon.

I have only this mornings cappuccino to blame. Well...that and my perusal of Lidia's Italian Table the night before. I thought by reading the preface to any number of the sections would illicit something in me. I wish to bid farewell to my stage-fright...or should I say stove-fright. While sometimes I can be completely confident and capable, other times I truly tremble. You see I've fallen off the horse quite a bit in the kitchen. I haven't had the most graceful of starts or finishes through the years. But I'm beginning to understand certain things. How to coax flavor and doneness. How to ask with all subtly what's in the 'this' instead of just sitting down to the Sunday table and becoming totally sidetracked because it tasted that good and I'm basking in the sweet afterglow of a full belly and buzz that only homemade wine can bring.

And I guess if I'm placing blame for the sake of this endeavor, I should also like to blame the man selling herbs at this mornings farmers market. $1 for a huge bunch of Italian parsley. I bought two bunches.

When we finally made it home I threw on my apron and opened Lidia's book. Finally, cause to pull the food processor from our kitchens underbelly. What a beautiful beast. The cutting board, knife, box grater and salad spinner were called for duty as well.

I washed about a cup of parsley. In addition to grating the knuckle of my left thumb, I also grated about 1 cup of carrot. Let me explain the knuckle, it's just a slight graze. Actually it looks as if a cat scratched me, leaving a quarter inch reminder. While I attempted to stop the bleeding, I managed to peel about 8 cloves of garlic.

The prep time, injury with follow up first aid, and clean up took more time than I had hoped. However, the finished product will yield over several weeks. I'm hoping that means many soups and finishing touches to otherwise 'simple' sauces. Actually, I'm planning on soups. Several soups, that will pick up were pasta leaves off. Well, pasta won't leave off completely. Ditalini will most definitely be making an appearance, as well as orzo. So, I can't really fault the time involved. I figured as long as I've got the food processor out I might as well make good use of it.

So with high hopes and a blue pyrex bowl filled with a few weeks worth of trito, aching with garlic, I will get back on the horse and hold on for dear life.


You'll need:

Food processor
Rubber spatula
Box grater
Cutting board
1 cup measure

1 cup Italian parsley
1 cup finely grated carrot
8 cloves garlic
Olive oil

Strip leaves from parsley stems and give good soak. I do a triple wash in the salad spinner. Spin dry. Set aside.

Grate carrot. Set aside.

Peel garlic. Set aside.

Add parsley, carrot, and garlic to food processor. Throw away your inhibitions and use olive olive with reckless abandon. Pulse a little, wipe down sides, pulse again. Evaluate whether or not you need to add more olive oil. You'll probably need to add more. Now process the heck out of it. Just let it go for a bit, but not too long. You don't want soupy, just smooth, really smooth.

When trito is to your liking, transfer to a bowl. Add more olive oil, if needed, to protect the top from discoloring and to preserve for the weeks ahead. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the plastic sit right on top of the trito to keep the air out. I pull the rest of the plastic wrap around the sides of the bowl and take the additional step of securing with a rubber band.

Like salt and pepper, add to dish to taste.


  1. Good job creating in the kitchen all by yourself tracy! I know how you feel about being creative with savory things, I share the same fears sometimes! ned just seems to have such a nice knack for those creative outlets. I love that blue bowl! You need to add yourself to our cbc wordpress blog and add it to your blogroll!!

  2. Elizabeth, I see a lentil soup in the near future using the trito...Just added cbc. You'll have to let me know how to add myself to the site. The blue bowl was handed down from Roberto's mother. It must be from the 70's.

  3. mmmm lentil soup is so healthy! Go to your wordpress blog (your portfolio right?) and sign in and you will see access on your dashboard drop down!

  4. oh I am excited..Should I know about trito ?..well I do now and descibed so nicely too..might have to make some in the next few days and then we can share soup stories....

  5. Rachel, I had never even heard of trito...only soffritto. You have such lovely soup stories already. I doubt you even need a trito. :)


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