Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harlequin Romance of the Three Kingdoms

I had a dream last night that I was writing a romance novel called Harlequin Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The three kingdoms were Animalia, Bacteria, and Fungi; the novel involved sentences like, "Her eyes were as blue as a crisp pair of scrubs and gleamed like a nerve freshly doused with wetting solution." I hate myself for coming up with that, even in a dream.

Let us turn to kingdom Plantae. I made a roasted Mediterranean vegetable salad with grapefruit gremolata, and garlic za'atar dough twists to go with it*. To make the twists, I simply took a recipe's worth of my favorite pizza dough, kneaded in some feta, and brushed the rolled-out dough with olive oil in which minced garlic, za'atar, and pepper had been warmed before cutting it into strips, twisting it, allowing it to rise, and baking it until browned.

These twists were really good; I just wanted more feta flavor! I think a better choice would be to finely crumble the feta in the oil in which the garlic and herbs had been warmed, then toss the dough strips in the mixture before twisting them. To be really decadent, you could give the twists a post-bake brush with more herbaceous olive oil. Or roll the dough more thinly, spread it with a feta and herb mixture, fold it over, and create stuffed twists that can then be brushed with olive oil post-baking. Funny, that globe looks suspiciously like an oyster.

Now, before I make a joke about prairie oysters, I'm going to go back to studying the contents of the superficial pouch.

*This followed the pre-dinner snacks I had at NYUSoM's Holi celebration, which included Indian food from the exemplary Curry in a Hurry followed by the traditional colored powder throwing free-for-all. When I blow my nose now, rainbows come out.

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