Jody is still in Europe, hobnobbing with her fellow wizards, while I’m back home, working on my fourth expresso of the morning since my circadian clock stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that I’m no longer in the Mezzogiorno, the land that W. H. Auden aptly dubbed the sunburnt otherwhere. I thought I’d post a few pictures of our trip (Wait! Come back!) and offer a few observations about Puglia, food and biking.
Give me one good reason why anyone would choose to cook tomatoes at the very apex of their season, especially for for four hours?
Okay, here’s one: Slow-Roasted Plum Tomatoes with Herb Salt.
Plum tomatoes are the different tomatoes of the pomodoro world. Not inferior, just different. Consumed raw, their virtues remain hidden, but when roasted slowly they soften to the consistency of butter. Spread them on good bread, give them a quick chop to help them morph into a quick sauce. As a contribution to a picnic where everyone is assembling a plate of goodies, or as a high class sumpin’-sumpin’ with olives and shaved Pecorino Romano before dinner, they will provoke applause.
Unfortunately, they’re also addictive.
Grilled Figs with Creme Fraiche and Chestnut Honey. What??!! Two desserts in a row, what are Ken and Jody coming to? Nothing spectacular–the blog reflects what we eat, and during August we eat a lot from the grill, including dessert. I tumbled on to grilling figs one hot summer night when we were already planning on cheese and fruit for dessert and I had both figs and grill at the ready. Hmm, I wonder what these would taste like? Depends on how you feel about intense little packets of sweetness crusted with bits of caramelized fig sugar. You will find no dessert with as high a ratio of taste to ease as this week’s recipe.