Thursday, May 18, 2017

Another pizza, another couple of days…

The Ashlanders (photo: Mac Marshall) Paul Arenstam and his Margherita
Eastside Road, May 18, 2017—
YOU WILL HAVE NOTICED, Constant Reader, that things haven't been normal around here lately, whatever "normal" is around here. I've been laid up; Cook's been busier than usual tending to me; we haven't been going out much. Nothing to worry about: just an acute lower back thing. Still.

So it's been a few days of catch-as-catch-can, when it comes to the dining department. And this has been aggravated by a continuing sense of what-the-hell, of what difference does it make, as Chebutykin repeatedly says, without even the justification of a fool heading his government. (Or maybe he did. My Russian history's a bit shaky.)

But then I notice that, whether I post here regularly or not, scores of people wind up looking at this page every day, driven by Hermes knows what kind of curiosity, so why not continue to post. Yesterday, then, it was cheese and potato salad, salad left over from Monday's fine picnic out at Lou Preston's winery with the rest of the Ashlanders, four couples including us who used to gather for a week in the summertime to see and argue about a number of plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Alas, only six of the original eight remain; but they know how to have a good time…

     Grenache blanc, 2014; Red, L. Preston, 2014
Preston Farm and Winery, 9282 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg;707-433-3372

It's an interesting salad, lacking eggs and mayonnaise, depending on the potatoes and the water in which they're cooked to supply the binding agent, flavored with parsley, mustard, and celery — an unusual approach to a picnic standard, and one I like a lot.

Wednesday required a trip to the East Bay, and we took advantage of the trip to stop at Summer Kitchen, extending my profound research into the classic Margherita pizza. I continue to think this the best version, in my experience, this side Naples. Alas I had to wolf it down in the car with no red wine to supplement it: them's the breaks.

Summer Kitchen Bakeshop, 2944 College Ave, Berkeley; (510) 981-0538

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017


Joan said...

This is my favorite non-mayonnaise potato salad recipe from the awesome folks at
Wood Prairie Farms in Maine

French Potato Salad


4 medium waxy potatoes, cut into 1" cubes and simmered in salted water until tender
1 cup sliced celery
2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon drained capers
3/4 teaspoon salt


1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves


In large bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. (last 5 ingredients listed) Add potatoes, while still warm, add celery, eggs, capers, salt and pepper; toss gently to combine.

lshere said...

Actually the flavoring included also green onions, garlic, and quite a bit of marjoram