Of all the wonderful foods I am fortunate to enjoy, none give me more pleasure than the simple combination of bread, wine, cheese and olives. Tonight, as I sat up reading Michael Pollan’s new book, Cooked, I had just finished part of his exposition about bread-making, and his learnings from the marvels of Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread. It was 10 PM and time for a late evening snack. Barbara had just toasted a whole wheat bagel and added a light coating of Tofutti Cream Cheese. So I entered the kitchen and went to my favorite old standby: bread, cheese, wine and olives.
It’s easy when you have it all there. A few days ago I made one of my favorite Tartine recipes, an Olive-Walnut Bread, this time in my new Bread Pot. The flour mixture was 70/20/10 of KAF Bread Flour, home-milled whole hard winter wheat, and home-milled durum flour — all organic. Made from a mixture of green Arnaud French and black Greek Kalamata olives, and toasted, chopped organic walnuts from California, this multi-whole-grain bread came out rich, moist and dense. Due to the Bread Pot, it had lots of “Oven Spring”.
When toasted well, the crust crisps nicely. I made one slice, cut it in half, and drizzled on a little olive oil and salt. I then added a slice of Jarlsberg cheese to each half, while still warm so the cheese started to melt slightly. I spread a little organic olive paste from black Italian olives on one of the halves, before adding the cheese. I opened a bottle of 2006 Chianti Classico and indulged for the ten minutes it took to remember why I love this combination so much. Happy to share with you, although I wish you could taste it.
We hear it is your birthday! So Happy Birthday from Arthur and Lily and many thanks for the inspiration.
Thank you very much for the birthday wishes. I just spoke with Ewa, and I’m glad you find my blog helpful.