Saturday, March 5, 2011


Two new discoveries for me:
- Using my pancetta and artichokes preserved in oil as a pizza topping (just a bit of cheese and tomato sauce underneath). A great combination of salt, oil and sharp from the artichoke brining, plus the giving texture of the artichoke against the chewy resistance of pancetta cut into batons. Went well with a Rockfords Moppa Springs grenache mataro shiraz blend. A sangiovese or barbera would have been a good match too.
- Hazelnuts in pesto instead of pinenuts. Dictated by the necessity of having run out of pine nuts and needing to make pesto to go with a pane di casa loaf I'd just baked. Usually, I have little time for pesto variants (especially commercial pre-mades that substitute many of the key elements that make fresh, traditional pesto so good). But this time, using good hazels with the skins on, the pesto turned out lighter and crunchier than usual. The skins gave the pesto a length of flavour (and tannin grip) that made it an excellent accompaniment to the fresh bread. Surprisingly good with a sparkling pinot noir from Adelaide Hills fruit (done as a white bubbles with the barest touch of bronze), but would have also been good with a prosecco or pinot grigio.

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