Monday, October 04, 2004

Last night my father called me- he was flying to Oman, and apparently, when you fly business class on Emirates Air, they throw in a pre-flight seven course meal at the Ritz Carlton. So he's describing his langoustines on a salmon dill compote and all the amuse bouches and the main course and the Chocolate Tasting dessert (and, of course, the predessert of not quite rice pudding with pineapple sorbet)... and suddenly, the meal I was preparing at the time seemed a lot less fancy.

Nonetheless, it was still good. It was the last summer meal I plan to prepare this year from A Year in A Vegetarian Kitchen (the fall recipes look so, so good)- a sliced tomato salad with pesto and baked goat cheese. You just slice the tomatoes, smear them with pesto, and put a round of baked goat cheese in the center. I used Redwood Hill Bucheret- I buy Redwood Hill cheeses from the Farmer's Market so often the goat cheese seller just asks which one I want, though she always asks if I want a taste anyway. Anyway, I was really worried about the method Jack Bishop uses for baking the goat cheese rounds- you slice the cheese into rounds, dip in olive oil, roll in fresh bread crumbs, and bake in an oiled pan. I wondered if Jack Bishop had failed to read the baked goat cheese salad article in Cook's Illustrated and feared the worst.

However, the rind held the rounds together perfectly. The breadcrumbs weren't as crisp as melba toast crumbs would have been, but they worked. Disaster didn't happen, and the warm cheese with the pesto tomatoes was incredible. Although Jack Bishop describes this as a very light meal, Jeff and I found it (with an accompaniment of freshly baked challah and some California Gewurtzraminer) to be pretty filling. (And on a side note, my husband also really liked Gewurtzraminer, which is a triumph on my quest to find wines my husband likes. He thinks almost every red wine is "too bitter.")