For lunch today I made Nigel Slater’s ‘ Salad of fennel, winter leaves and parmesan’ from the Kitchen Diaries. I was inspired to buy the fennel after watching a couple of minutes of ‘You are what you eat’ on BBC America the other day. I had plenty of arugula from the market and the remains of my homemade bread so it was perfect. The dressing is very rich but it was a wonderful combination and went well with the grilled potato salad.
We had an errand to run in German Village this afternoon so we treated ourselves to a visit to the Book Loft which is probably the best place in Columbus to lose track of time, or actually get lost for a few hours. It really is an amazing cornucopia.
The real treat of the afternoon though, was my first visit to Pistacia Vera. I somehow missed going there when it was in the Short North (in the premises now occupied by Tasi) and I thought that it had closed, until I read about it on Restaurant Widow. With such rave reviews (an excuse to go to German Village) how could I not investigate. It certainly lived up to its billing. I love the building, very light, lots of exposed brick, with a very sophisticated atmosphere. Most of the biscuits/cookies are $1 and the gateaux slices are $4-5. My favorite of the macaroons was the walnut fig, as it wasn’t as sweet as some of the others. Light and moist, it was like a fig newton that has gone to swiss finishing school. I would like to try the lavender honey macaroon, which I don’t think they had today. Other highlights were the blade mace canelé and the amaretti cookies which were probably my favorite of everything we tried.
I wanted to show you my newest kitchen gadget. I hadn’t seen a peeler like this before and it takes a little getting used to, but works really well. They have some other ingenious products too and it was only $5 at Target.
Tonights dinner was mainly leftover salads but I did make some cucumber salad with yoghurt, lemon, garlic and some herbs (parsley, chives and mint) from the garden. My other culinary project this evening was Heidi Swanson’s zucchini bread which i was intrigued by. I spoke to my friend Karen earlier and she said ‘I made zucchini bread earlier. I never knew it had pineapple in it’. Well, Heidi’s recipe has poppy seeds, crystalized ginger and curry powder. It smells great. I had to go to the store for the poppy seeds and ginger and the girl behind me at the checkout had a bottle of very cheap red wine and a pregnancy test. I resisted passing comment.