Pranzo Perfetto

The DOG and I had a lovely late lunch yesterday at Teodora, which has the good graces not to close at 3:00 to prepare for its dinner seatings. There was not much on the menu that would accommodate my dietary limitations. But since those limitations are all self-imposed, I was willing to lift the limitations to accommodate my desire not to be the sort of person I hate. And just when I was going to choose something that contained grated cheese, I noticed the menu offered two items that not only fit within my restrictions but which actually were things I liked:

Potato Leek Soup
(made with vegetable broth!)
I forget its much more elegant Italian name

Piadina Romagnola, with Broccoli Rape
Traditional flat bread, from the griddle

The piadina was offered with a choice of three accompaniments, and when I ordered the “broccoli rape”, I couldn’t say “rape” without feeling … wrong. So I said “broccoli non-consentual sexual assault”. Fortunately the waiter was sensitive and did not question me.
When the dish arrived, the broccoli tried to look bold, but I could sense its unease. “You’re not to blame for what happened,” I said. “It wasn’t your fault.” It wiped its eyes. Sniffled back tears. Smiled a shy yet brave smile, and told me I saved its life. “Grazie,” it whispered. “Mille grazie.”
And then I ate it.