It is a lazy weekend what should we do? ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

13 June 2007

It is a lazy weekend what should we do?

Here's what you do on a saturday afternoon after you've biked 150 miles in the past week:


Get out all the fruit you think is awesome; we had kiwi, tangerine, and peach. The clear winner is anything in the citrus family. Orange and lemon are perhaps the best idea ever. Get some brandy that isn't particularly awful and a bottle of Spanish wine--ours was a tempranillo.

Peel (especially if you have kiwi) and chop up your fruit. I like to leave the peels on orange and lemon, so you can suck them later. Also that way you can take advantage of all their oils.

Stick all the fruit in a pitcher and add just enough brandy to cover. Shake it up a little and let it sit, so the fruit absorbs a reasonable portion of the brandy deliciousness. Then open the bottle of wine and pour it all over the fruit. Stir it up and you have sangría.

Drink it. Drink it outside in the shade.

We actually did not go outside, due to the phenomenal amount of sun in our tiny excuse for a backyard. Instead, we stayed inside and made beautiful crostini.

Crostini are the sort of thing that happen when you want to make brunch but actually can't be sufficiently bothered. So instead you get some decent bread, some garlic, some oil, and stick it all in the oven together. Soon it becomes crusty and aromatic and delicious. Then you eat it.


good sourdough/other bread
olive oil
cheese if desired
salt and pepper

Cut your bread into appropriate pieces. Mine were about half an inch thick. Put them on a cookie sheet.

Mince up as much garlic as you want.

Drizzle and/or brush the bread with olive oil to get it all oily and delicious. I find that the best instrument here is your hands. Yay oily sustenance! Then spread out the garlic, again with your hands. You will smell awesome. Salt and pepper the slices of bread.

If you want cheese, now is the time for cheese application. We actually had a little chunk of Spanish sheep's milk cheese called idizabal, which seemed slightly strong raw but turned out perfectly on this application. You can use whatever hard grating cheese or mild white cheese you like and/or have lying around. Or you can make the crostini with just garlic and oil. It will work fine either way.

Stick the crostini under the broiler to toast slightly and melt cheese. Whip the pan out as soon as things are slighty browned and crispy. Keep the oven door open and your eye on the pan, or the bread edges will definitely burn. Ours burnt a little even with a strict eye out. That's ok; a couple blackened edges won't hurt anyody. Anyway I think it was worth it because I was cutting up THE FIRST REAL SIMULTANEOUS SUMMER AND HEIRLOOM TOMATO OH MY GOD.

Then John arranged the crostini in the most decorative manner that we ever do anything, and I stuck the tomato slices in the middle of the plate, and we had lunch. This consisted of crostini topped with tomato and glasses of sangría out of which we scarfed the fruit.

If you want to get actually froufrou with presentation, you can add some parsley, like so:

You can also have sangria and sprinkle the tomato with sea salt smashed in the salt mortar, i.e. what our mortar has come to be called since it's become obvious it's too small to mash anything else. A salt mortar is an excellent idea if you have a lot of sea salt and no grinder, or too many grinders to keep track of already. It's very satisfying to physically crush the salt to powder, then pinch it with your actual fingers to sprinkle it over your food. We end up just keeping the salt mortar next to the sugar bowl and using bits out of the crushed pile as needed. It certainly gets used a lot more than the sugar bowl. Sometimes I think we forget that's even there.

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