It’s no secret to those who read this blog regularly that I am an advocate of local food, but I’m just another person in this movement. The chef most responsible for giving local food a renewed prominence is without a doubt Alice Waters. Her restaurant Chez Panisse is a mecca for the local food movement. I still haven’t been to Berkeley, California even though I was born in California and lived there for 11 years, but 99% of my time was spent in Los Angeles.
With no near term plans for a trip to Berkeley, I decided to pick up one of Alice’s cookbooks from a Border’s that was closing (sad to see Border’s go.) I found a copy of her Pasta, Pizza, Calzone cookbook.
The book is organized by season since her cooking philosophy is using fresh, local ingredients of course that means fresh and local in her region of Northern California so it’s not always local to everyone. I did find one recipe that met local, fresh ingredients for an August in Texas. I found some great Sweet 100 local tomatoes at Whole Foods and bought some basil and made fresh linguine pasta. The recipe also called for bread crumbs, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. It was very simple, almost too simple.
The flavor was okay, but that was mainly due to the recipe calling for an unnecessary large amount of bread crumbs – 1 1/2 cups. I reduced it to 1 cup and even then only used about a 1/4 of a cup and that was still too much for two people. The recipe should’ve called for a teaspoon garnish on top for each dish and it’s a change I’ll make on my next attempt at this.
The Sweet 100 tomatoes were excellent as they provided such a vibrant, summer taste that really brought out the joys of simple summer food which I’m sure was the whole point.