The Salumi adventure continues…
On Friday, while Man of la Muncha is out traversing the serpentine streets of Seattle searching for Salumi, I am trapped at work, where a particularly hellacious week is coming to a long, painful end. At around 8 p.m., Man of La Muncha calls and asks how much longer I’ll be. He also informs me that we will be having Salumi and the Arizona zinfandel for dinner, along with homemade pesto over pasta. I express my enthusiasm for this idea, and tell him I’ll be able to leave in about 20 minutes.
By 8:45, I am home, where Man of La Muncha proudly displays the spoils of his journey. The toils of the week slip away as he shows me the Salumi meats he has brought home. While I am sad that they were out of the molé, the sopressata is a tasty condolence. I am also intrigued by the oregano, as this is one we have not had the opportunity to try.Man of La Muncha proceeds to slice pieces off the chunks of salami and arrange them on a plate, along with a split pluot and slices of the Quillisascut goat cheese with black pepper and garlic that he is grating to go into the pesto. He pours me a glass of the wine and invites me to sample the meats. I inquire about the origin of the pluot, and am told that it came from our neighbor’s tree, where a branch hangs over the fence and into our yard. I wholeheartedly approve of this appropriation, and applaud Man of La Muncha for including seasonal fruit in our repast.
Man of La Muncha pipes up: Sadly, there were only two pluots hanging over our yard. I cut one for the photograph, and happily ate the fruit after the pictures are taken. The pluot was juicy and sweet, and I stood on our deck wondering whether I could reach across the fence in the middle of the night and grab more pluots. Is that considered un-neighborly?
Butter Bitch: The wine on its own is fairly vegetal and tannic, characteristics I don’t remember from when I first tried it. However, given that my Arizona wine finds did get checked at the Tucson airport, and then sat in the back of a hot car in Austin before finally making their way to the cool darkness of our Seattle basement, I’m not entirely surprised that it’s not the same wine I remember.
It opens up after a few minutes, and I pick up a slice of the oregano salami as an accompaniment. The salami, as previously mentioned, is chewy and, indeed, “muscle-y.” The flavor is rich and meaty, with the oregano providing a grace note of sweetness amidst the savoriness of the fat and meat. I also detect a hint of celery and a bit of pepper. Paired with the wine, the savoriness is enhanced, while the wine’s tannins are tamped down. The combination is highly satisfying, and I go back for another piece.
What about the sopressata?
“Aren’t you going to try the sopressata?” inquires Man of La Muncha. I am indeed, and move to secure a slice from the plate. The sopressata is a spicy salami, though not overly so. It is, however, a big meat coming after the more delicate oregano salami, and it is hard to go back to the oregano having sampled the sopressata. I pop half a pluot into my mouth to clear my palate. While Man of La Muncha is putting the finishing touches on the pesto and boiling gnocchi from Rising Moon Organics, I continue sampling the meats and partaking of the wine. A few minutes later, Man of La Muncha puts down a bowl of gnocchi mixed with just-made pesto in front of me, and invites me to dig in.
Man of La Muncha:
Basil goes a long way, as I’ve discovered. I used half the basil from our CSA box and a few cloves of garlic, along with olive oil and the aforementioned Quillisascut goat cheese. I grated the cheese by hand, and threw everything into a small food processor–really more of a chopper, but it does the job. I like making pesto without a formal recipe, and although I forgot to add nuts this time the pesto tasted good.
Butter Bitch: I had sampled a bit of the pesto earlier in the evening, when he was working to get the proportions right, and commented at the time on its garlic hotness. However, in combination with the savory flavors of the salami and the wine, the garlic provides a nice contrast and brightens our meal considerably. I finish my gnocchi and another slice of sopressata, and declare myself full.
My week has been redeemed by artisanal meats, homemade pesto, and a tasty wine that ties everything together. How can any week that ends like this be anything less than fantastic?
Note: All photos were taken by Man of La Muncha.