D cooked this dinner b/c his ideas, and I did a lot of the prep. First of all, last week I found a video about panzanella without tomatoes – in Italiano – and we watched it and discovered that they used “portulaca,” which Google translated, and myriad images confirmed, as what we call “purslane.” We were leaving the farmers’ market Saturday and passed “Four sisters farm” and Yo! Purslane! So we bought a bunch of it. At the Grand Lake Market a week ago, we bought some sirloin tip from Prather Ranch on a 20% off sale (if you bought 4 or more – teamed with R&E on that), and tonight we had the largest of the lot, about .4 pounds. D marinated this by putting on top sliced garlic, salt, finely chopped onions, more salt, truffle oil (neither of us tasted this), and leaving at room temperature for perhaps 45 minutes before grilling on our range grill. It was superb! But even better was how well the panzanella went with it.
Panzanella (bread salad): D bought a loaf of Harvest Multigrain Bread at Trader Joe’s this morning on the way back from the art coop’s annual seconds sale. We used some for lunch (below) and I froze 4 slices (D said for sandwiches, but I’ll probably have them for toast with some fried eggs for breakfast) and the rest… ok, I just ate some… the rest – I think four more slices – we left to dry for the panzanella. It didn’t really dry much from lunch to dinner. D grilled the slices to dry them a bit, then tore them up and put water and red wine vinegar on them (La Cucina Italiana says to do this), and squeezed them out (tho he says he didn’t put enough on to squeeze much out). Then he tore up the bread. I had washed half of the bunch of purslane, let it dry a bit, and them pulled off the leaves and left them in a bowl for D. There might have been 1/2 cup, but I’m not good at estimating volumes of small particles in a bowl. I also washed and spun dry (and left on a towel) a bit of baby arugula D bought today at the Bowl for this salad. D went out and got several leaves (D says 10 or 15) of basil from the garden and washed them up and chopped them up. He couldn’t find an Italian sweet or spring onion at the Bowl, so he just cut up some of the red onion we had (lamented later that a milder one would be good, but really I thought it was great). He mixed the bread, purslane, basil, onion, and arugula, with olive oil. And I think that was it. It was DELICIOUS! Also went perfectly beautifully with the meat. Amazing match.
D and I rearranged the wines in the cellar yesterday, and grouped the “tester” wines together so they’d be easy to find. This is one D chose at The Wine Mine on Saturday when we went for a tasting of Spanish wines. (Testers are ones we didn’t taste, just guessed might be interesting.) This is called “Cantele” and is a Salice Salentino from 2013. It says “Doc Riserva” – d’Oc? Cost $12. After a lot of airing it got pretty interesting.
eta: D has come out with a large bowl of cherries for dessert!
We decided just to have the bread with the cheese for lunch, with some sundries on the side. D mashed up some of the cranberry beans he cooked Saturday, and served those on the side. He cut up the last three little Riverdog tomatoes from the Saturday market.
We also had wine for lunch – an opened bottle that E “rescued,” apparently after finding it abandoned at the wine tasting she staffed this weekend. The wine was a Rhone-style white – only 700 or so cases! – Cass 2015, from the Paso Robles area. Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier grapes, marked “Rockin’ One”. It was fine, but I can’t say I loved it.