October 15, 2006

Some new surprises, and an overdue farewell to summer

We're well into the fall season now, and Lav and I find ourselves still in the midst of an Italian kick. Last night, we made a pizza at home using canned San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzanos are ideal for sauces because of their meaty flesh and their "bittersweet" flavor -- lower sugar and lower acid. Just a bit of basil and you're good to go.

This morning, we were surprised to notice for the first time that the Meyer lemon tree Melissa gave us for Christmas last year is beginning to develop lemons. Finally! Having a little outdoor patio/deck is paying off! Thoughts of grilled lemon slices and lemon confit are running through my mind, but it looks like I've still got a few more months to wait...

After a morning dim sum session, we went on the prowl to check out some local shops and pick up some food. We started off at the Genova Delicatessen in Temescal, which is an amazing little shop in Oakland, founded in 1926. Genova sells sliced meats, cured meats, fresh pastas, sauces, imported canned goods (including both De Cecco and Strianese brand imported D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes... take that A.G. Ferrari), olive oils, desserts... everything and anything Italian, and all well priced. The find of the day was a jar of Annalisa fabioli bianchi di spagna (italian butter beans)... this will be used to try and recreate that haunting zuppa from A16 sometime soon.

We walked across the street to Bakesale Betty's. Alison, sporting her impossibly blue hair, had all sorts of fantastically decadent treats out. We asked her to pack up a slice of her famous lemon bar (perfectly lemony tart, with a super rich crust), a slice of pumpkin bread (moist and dense, with a well-developed, deep spice flavor), and a pear-ginger scone (moist and buttery, with a sweet ginger zing) for us. All three were rich, pure and pretty much euphoric.

Sadly, it's finally time to bid farewell to the summer. We've been in a bit of denial, but it's already the middle of October! Our rationalization is that a lot of the summer crop extended late into the season because of the rainy season earlier this year... We made a tomato and mozzarella salad with some farmer's market Early Girl tomatoes, fresh mozzarella di bufalo from the Cowgirl Creamery, organic basil and L.A. Cetto olive oil.

We also made a simple pasta with the fresh spinach fettucini we picked up from Genova. The sauce is made only of the San Marzano tomatoes, a bit of garlic and basil. The finish is a simple grating of awesome Cowgirl Creamery pecorino romano.

Looks like we're in for some rain this week...

Genova Delicatessen

5095 Telegraph Avenue, Suite A, Oakland

Bakesale Betty
5098 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland

1 comment:

  1. Hope your baby lemons survive the winter winds this time!