I had defrosted the second loaf from my last batch of 40% Whole Wheat Bread, so it was time for Bruschetta at lunch. One recipe that caught my eye recently was Bruschetta Bianca from the Union Square Cafe cookbook. It featured white truffle oil, good balsamic vinegar, and thick, grilled bread with some Parmesan cheese shavings on top. I had the ingredients, except for the Parmesan, so I substituted shaved Sardinian Pecorino instead.
That part was easy, but — as always when I start cooking — complications arose. One was my need to attend to two small cooked beets that were about to expire. In fact, the weird white spots growing on their surfaces made me worry that they already had. I washed and wiped them off vigorously, and I smelled them carefully. There were no further indications of decay, so I proceeded. Since the grill was heating up for the bruschetta, I sliced the beets vertically, added olive oil and Alaea Sea Salt from Hawaii, and seared them on both sides. The next step turned out to be a huge success. I topped each beet slice with the whipped feta cheese I’ve been putting on everything I can, plus some toasted chopped walnuts, leftover from the recent fresh pasta dish. Magnifique!
The other addition was some grilled zucchini, since I needed to use an older one, as Barbara was putting three new ones in the refrigerator this afternoon. Three lengthwise slices gave me the right thickness for grilling, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar provided the flavor enhancers. Antipasto for one, just to my specifications.
Jan D’Amore’s Masseria del Pino Sicilian Nerello Mascalese was just right for the meal.
Three months earlier Barbara had made this Galette for our Public Library’s cookbook club get-together. She did it again this week, and it was even better. Here is the finished product, and the recipe from Fine Cooking.
One more thing I have to share with you. We are back in stock with Black Peppercorns, and these continue to be the very finest we have ever used.
Several years ago my brother and his partner were in Costa Rica for fun and education, and they brought me back a small package of organic peppercorns from Orchard del Sol. They were the most fragrant and balanced peppers we ever encountered. Carole and Joanne, the ladies who run this little business live in Saskatchewan, Canada, and they work with growers in Costa Rica. It’s a big contribution to sustainability, a tribute to the global economy, and it has made us happy and healthy for years.
The only challenge has been re-ordering. For those of us spoiled by the high touch, constant-contact online firms like Amazon, La Tienda, and the like, we are used to easy, quick, well-informed, package-tracked transactions, 24 x 7. Though their products are peerless, the ordering process was not. Now they have a new website, and I think that will work much better.
For those interested, here is the package: