Monday, August 16, 2010

Naturally Preferred Organic Whole Wheat Rotini one word review: yech

In a few more words it's flavorless, roughly textured, and has no elasticity (and not as a result of overcooking). It may be a step up from the cardboard box it comes in, but only because that little plastic window would get stuck in your throat.

This is a Kroger house brand. I won't buy the stuff again.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

homemade ciabatta bruschetta with tomato salad

Leafing through the Sunday paper I saw a recipe for tomato salad on grilled bruschetta. (I think "grilled bruschetta" is redundant, but this was that stellar food journal Parade, after all.) Sounded like an excellent appetizer for a day that was predicted to reach 95 degrees in Seattle. It called for ciabatta bread, and I recalled the one minute ciabatta recipe I'd enjoyed before. But it was already 1:30... could it be done?

I threw it together, experimentally using white whole wheat for one third of the flour, and set the bowl outside to rise. By 5:00 I figured I'd better get moving if this was going to end up on the dinner table. It had risen adequately, it seemed, although if I'd been thinking I would have increased the yeast. I certainly did not want to use the oven, so I fired up the grill and baked it at about 425 for 25+ minutes on a hollow cookie sheet.

The tomato salad was a basic combination of fresh tomatoes, red onion, basil, garlic, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pretty standard, but there is simply no bad way to combine those ingredients. Sadly, only the basil was from the garden. Mid-August and I've had two ripe tomatoes. And don't even get me started on the peppers. This has been a stonkingly unproductive gardening year so far.

Verdict: Not bad. The bread was certainly a bit rushed. It didn't really open up like a ciabatta should, and I'm sure flavor would be better if the yeast had more time to do its thing. The whole wheat probably interfered with the usual texture, too. But once grilled and topped, totally satisfactory for the wall time and level of effort.