Yesterday, I trudged in from three hours of battling renegade blackberries and pepper tree sprouts trying to take the hill behind the herb path. Too tired to face going up the stairs to for a shower, I switched on the TV- KOCE re-runs of Julia.
This is what Reality TV should be: enthralling and energizing . From the tiny specs I've spied- what passes today for Reality TV- is about as real as Silicone breast implants. As satisfying as processed potato-bit chips pressed with artificial flavoring pressed into a can . With Julia- crepes weren't always perfect- on camera- they got dumped in the trash. Quips, like vegetarians for dinner was not to be an expose on cannibalism- leavened things up.
Hot water and a lathered loofah set me free from the cocoon of dirt and I fluttered to experiment in the kitchen.
Thumbing through the July 2009 Gourmet magazine inspired what to do with a leftover lump of dough from last night's pizza. EVOO was slathered over the egg shaped dough, then rolled to the thickness of a deck of cards. Herb leaves pulled from their stems- parsley, thyme and rosemary- which were madly rolled over and over with the pizza wheel into bits of fragrant bits of green. Into a dry froth of freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano cheese sprinkled gray sea salt and smashed garlic clove, the topping was tossed together to in turn be tossed onto the waiting slab of dough.
The pizza wheel easily created tape-ruled width ribbons of the dough. These were twisted and allowed to rest on a parchment covered baking sheet while the oven heated to 400 F. Twenty minutes later the fresh bread sticks were GOOD- but when they were cool and crisp- they were even better dipped in Marinara sauce spiked with hot chili pepper flakes.
Earlier in the week I hadn't the heart to toss a true rarity- leftover artichoke. Originally braised in EVOO with Meyer lemons, the pairing disappointed my husband's palate. What to do?
The hearts were stripped of their leaves and cut up with equal chunklettes of fresh Mozzarella then bundled into won ton wrappings. Fried in bubbling hot peanut oil for two minutes, a creamy champagne mustard/ mayonnaise dip, they turned out to be as inspiring as they were inspired.
Which is how life should be lived.
Thank you to Tom Carruth for creating the 2006 AARS winner- Julia Child Rose- for Weeks roses- and to Gene Sasse for photographing the lovely bouquet of buttery namesake blossoms at their best- and for permission to use. I wish we lived closer so the food images would be as spectacular.
EVOO is extra virgin olive oil.