09 April 2008

Foodie Bookshelf/Cooking for Our Rights: Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

Since I already talked about the book Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant in my latest "Tasting Notes," I'll keep this review short, but I would like to briefly tell you what I thought and share my attempt at one of the authors' "alone foods." I first heard about Jenni Ferrari-Adler's collection of essays by various food writers on the topic of eating alone on one of my favourite food blogs, Not Eating Out in New York. I was intrigued by the interview with the editor and had the book on my wishlist for quite a while, when I discovered my local public library's bounty and put a hold on it. I have to say, the introduction was one of my favourite things about the book (I think I relate to Ferrari-Adler's background more than the other authors), but I loved several of the essays, which range from humorous to insightful. It's a nice, light read, though I think I might recommend it more for those who don't like eating alone than for those who do.

The recipe I chose to try from this book was Pa amb Tomàquet, a Catalan speciality shared by Paula Wolfert. I picked this one partly because Catalonia was one of the regions at the bottom of my "Cooking for Our Rights" list and I've been anxious to check something off, and partly because the concept just sounded delicious and simply. Bread! Tomatoes! How hard could it be? Well, I decided to make it even easier by committing a grand no-no and doing my bread in the toaster oven, instead of on the grill. I crushed a roma tomato with a fork, which in retrospect is not the most effective method, and I only spread it on one side of the toast, since both seemed a little difficult to eat. Despite all that, I found this dish very tasty. I used a nice thick hunk of sourdough and drizzled it with extra-virgin olive oil, followed by a light sprinkling of sea salt. I'd forgotten just how much I like plain old bread and olive oil. This summer, I think I'm going to do "mezze" style eating a lot more often - keep a big hunk of decent bread on hand, and lots of little containers of dips and salads and other starters that I can graze on at will. Yum, yum.

The Bottom Line

Taste: ***
Appearance: **
Ease: ****
Cost: $$
Overall: ***

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I borrowed this book from the library recently. It's an enjoyable collection of short reflections that can be perused according to one's mood.