For dinner we picnicked at the Cove in La Jolla. We ate a spread consisting of a duo of stuffed breads, a fruit salad, and a summery veggie salad. The first bread was stuffed with mozzarella, rendered pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, sundried tomatoes, and avacado. The second bread was stuffed with habanero jack, salsa turkey, chipotle puree, and crumbled bacon. The summery veggie salad accompaning the meal was made of roasted asparagus and zucchini, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta, and a very lemony vinegarette.
Summery Veggie SaladT: your breads are one of my favorite things that you make. Definately one of your specialties.
A: well thank you mister T. i just love carbs….screw the whole low carb diet things. i did that for like two weeks and i was a total bitch without my dear sweet lovely carbs.
T: yeah that sucked. I remember you getting so angry at a bag of clothes because it didn’t respond the way you wanted it to when you tried to pick it up. Whew that was rough. If you’re considering going on a low-carb atkins type diet, think first about your loved ones. Consider this choice very carefully, because you will become very mean.
A: heheh definately. even if the thought ever crossed my mind to do it again, as soon as i let my plan out you would probably be force feeding me sugars and breads and pastas.
T: what was funny was that you never really cared for sweet things until you starved yourself of carbs for a few weeks. You haven’t been the same since.
A: i know, now i actually kind of like sweets. i went twenty some odd years without really liking sweets. Thanks Dr. Atkins, you’ve now given me diabetes!
T: oh goodness, I sure hope not. That would suck. True, though that it’s a crazy diet that is not a good idea for anyone to go on ever.
A: hehehe i know a lot of people would disagree. I just believe that we should be eating good wholesome, not overly processed foods and grains. I definately try to cook with grains and such. Although if this (and the past couple posts) are the first time you’re seeing this site, you might not believe it – considering this was made with bread flour and we ate pasta for the two previous posts.
T: true. I also believe that we should eat wholesome foods which is why I had a california burrito earlier this week. For those of you who don’t know, that’s carne asada, sour cream, cheese, and french fries, wrapped in a flour tortilla. Definately wholesome.
A: wholesomely heart clogging.
T: heart-cloggingly delicious. Unlike the bread that you made which was delicious but not too heart-clogging. I think I actually liked the one not pictured here best. What all was in that one?
A: that one consisted of salsa turkey, chipotle in adobo puree, habanero jack, and a few bits of crumbled bacon. it was supposed to have the avacado that went in to the other bread and some tomatoes, but i rolled it up and forgot about the healthy part of the bread! ooops.
T: i think you got the key ingredients in there though. I really like the adobo puree being in there. It made it nice and spicy.
A: that habanero jack is definately not too shabby in the heat department either. it’s one of the hotter cheeses i’ve found.
Our picnic spot, La Jolla Cove, CaliforniaT: These breads were awesome. We haven’t talked at all about the salad. It was tasty too. Any comments?
A: i must have loved it, i ate the rest of it for lunch the next day…and there was quite a bit left over. it was just good fresh veggies (plus roasted asparagus), a very lemony vinegarette, and feta. how can you go wrong with those ingredients?
T: I can answer that question- just let me attempt to make it.
A: if it wasn’t your Birthday soon!!! you would definately be forced to make dinner and prove yourself wrong on all these comments about screwing things up. I have no doubt that if you actually tried, you would be making some great stuff.
T: lol. What I can make are chinese dumplings. I’ll stick to that for now. Until you guide me through a meal some time, like we’ve talked about.
A: very soon T, very soon. So do you wanna give this here bread a rating?
T: I give it a 4.7/5. Usually when I rate something I compare it to all of the similar food items that I’ve had in recent history, but I’ve never had any other stuffed bread to compare this to. One thing that I like so much about your stuffed bread is the ratio of bread to ingredients. It’s bread. It’s not a meat/cheese pocket. It’s not closed up sandwich. It’s bread with some goodies in it. A good amount of goodies. A good amount of really good goodies.
A: sweet!!! I give the meal a 4.55/5. It was definately tasty. I used to make bread pretty damn frequently but then… i guess since we moved to california really…i just stopped making them. I’ve gotten rusty at the technique i used to have perfected. I nearly ruined the photoed bread with my shady technique this time. fortunately, bread is pretty forgiving, and very tasty and it all worked out in the end.
T: yeah, making bread is like raising children (not that I’ve ever raised children). You can screw it up almost completely and then it still turns into a person in the end.
A: hehehheh uh… um….. i’m nearly speechless. uh… no. not really like a child, t.
T: You don’t see the parallel?
A: uh… i’m trying not to look for the parallels. you should run this idea past laurie, she believes both bread and children should be consumed.
T: Yeah, she does. Although I don’t go nearly that far. It’s just that they’re both forgiving. And they’re both crusty.
A: mmmm… crusty children.
T: have you been talking to Laurie lately?
Kwaherini mabibi na mabwana.
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 zucchini, cut in 1/4 of inch thick half-moons
12 grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped (not marinated)
4oz crumbled feta cheese
juice from 1 lemon
zest from one lemon
1 1/2 tbshoney
1tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast the trimmed asparagus at 400 degrees for ten minutes. While the asparagus is roasting, prepare the vinegarette. In a mixing bowl, add the juice and zest from one lemon (zest the lemon pre-juicing), honey, and dijon mustard. Whisk these ingredients together thoroughly. Continue whisking and slowly drizzle in canola oil to emulsify. Depending on how tart you like the lemon vinegarette to be, either add 1:1 canola to lemon juice for tangy or 2:1 canola to lemon juice for a more mellow vinegarette. Set the vinegarette aside once finished. When the asparagus has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and cut it into inch long pieces. Add the asparagus, zucchini, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and feta into a mixing bowl. Pour enough of the vinegarette over the salad so that it is nice and moistened. :-) Let the salad marinate in the fridge for at least half an hour then taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. As the salad marinates the feta will provide the majority of the salt necessary, so don't season before it's had a chance to sit. Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature. This is a great accompaniment to a picnic - trust me! Enjoy!