Vegan Umami

I’ve been making Tartine bread for almost a year now, always starting with Chad Robertson’s designs and then improvising on the proportions and ingredients.  Today I finally made his Basic Country Bread almost exactly as written.  (I say almost because my container had 884 grams of white bread flour in it vs. the prescribed 900 grams; so I ground 116 (instead of 100) grams of whole wheat flour to make an even 1000.  And, for taste reasons alone, I use 24 grams of salt, 4 more than called for.)  The two loaves are superb.

However, that’s not my story today.  Instead, it is about lunch and an experience of umami flavors and texture of the kind not normally associated with vegan dining.  It was simply an open-faced sandwich made with two slices of fresh bread, layered with Fastachi Pecan Butter, then Cibo Tapenade, flecks of freshly-ground horseradish root, and then topped with thin slices of a perfectly ripe avocado.

 On close up inspection you can see the velvety texture.  Now imagine it with a glass of inky-dark, rich Spanish red wine, a 2008 Jose L. Ferrer Binssalem Majorca….and you have lunch!


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