Eastside Road, December 14, 2014—IT WILL NOT SURPRISE Constant Reader to find that I have little patience for the gluten-free craze. I respect those who have legitimate concerns, of course; celiac disease can be no picnic. But the gluten controversy has reached epic dimension, and the blame should not fall, I think, on wheat, which after all has sustained our species for quite a while now. I'm pretty much convinced that to the extent that gluten has been problematic it's been because of method, not substance: I'm persuaded that it's the milling, and the addition of chemicals to the separated parts of the wheat grain before they're brought back together in the milling process, that has upset so many modern guts.
And so I did my little scoff routine when the menu at lunch mentioned a gluten-free pizza. How could this be possible, I asked myself; and then I asked the waitress. Oh, she said, we have one pizza that's made with chickpea flour, not wheat.
Wow! Chickpea flour! One of my favorite things is soca, the sorta pancake you get in Nice, made of chickpea flour. Maybe this pizza will be something like that!
So I has this Margarita pizza — the classic tomato, mozarella, and basil, though since it's Sunday why not bake an egg on top too — cooked on a rolled-out crust made of chickpea flour. And it was, in fact, very tasty indeed; I'd recommend it to anyone, regardless of sensitivities.
White Rhone varietals, "Madam Preston," Preston of Dry Creek, 2012 — a favorite of mine.• Jackson's Bar and Oven, 135 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa; 707-545-6900
SALMON PATÉ on toast again tonight, with green beans, delicious ones, cooked in butter with minced shallots. Cook has made a good supply of this paté, apparently, and I'll never tire of it. It's just smoked salmon mashed with lots and lots of butter and minced chives, is all it is, but it tastes like a million dollars. The green salad afterward, and a couple of apples…
Cheap Pinot grigio