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In anticipation of dinner

August 21, 2007


Potato pizza and salad

This post takes its inspiration from El and the One Local Summer project.

This meal epitomises how I’d like to eat. Well, how we’d like to eat. Focus not on the form but the substance. Most of the ingredients come from local sources. Mea culpa – Italian Grana Padana and balsamic vinegar. If I can master wine vinegar and cider vinegar making, I will try the balsamic method. All I need is an oak barrel and I already have the family’s grape crusher and then perfecting the method. Yep, my folks used to make their own wine. Cheese….well, a cow would be good but even without a cow there are cheeses I can make from local-ish milk.

Ingredient dissection

Salad – arugula, lettuce and cress – grown by my sister and me in our mother’s garden.

Snow peas (A variety called Melting Mammoth) eaten whilst cooking but from the above source.

Herbs – same. (Used with green garlic from my garden to make that green paste)
Potatoes – Blackheath Growers Market from a farmer in the Central West. (other side of the mountains)

Tomato sauce – bottled by me but tomato provenance not known.

Wheat from NW NSW – Ground by Charles.

Olive Oil – also from the Central West but if I were more organised there is a local source in the Megalong Valley.

My ideas about local food started to cement, after reading Joan Dye Gussow’s book and really, I haven’t looked back. It was the first time I’d read the term, food miles. Now, this consideration forms part of my process for making food choices. The foundations, to this sort of rumination, were laid by my upbringing; my immigrant parents continuing those traditions they’d grown up with and also trying to feed their family well on a budget.

Obviously, I’d like to be able to grow as much of what we eat as possible but for that to happen, our location may have to change or I’ll have to accept the limitations of the land and use it as best I can – become a better gardener. It all takes planning and preparation and I’m getting ready for spring. These are things I like learning.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. xltilde permalink
    August 23, 2007 11:16 am

    Now you just need to get the hang of glass blowing, smithing and porcelain firing!

  2. August 23, 2007 10:23 pm

    Well, not really. All of these nice crafty skills are available locally – glass blower and various ceramicists/potters in Blackheath itself and the smithy….I won’t need unless we get a horse but if that were the case, Lithgow has some iron workers….why else do they have the annual “Ironfest”.

    It is local food production that is sadly lacking…..especially when it comes to dairy of the non-goat kind.

  3. August 23, 2007 11:03 pm

    oh…and the iron workers could do domestic style metal things like cutlery…..and if I were to barter for them… much balsamic vinegar for a fork or a glass, do you think?

  4. August 25, 2007 4:17 am

    Was it as delicious as it looks? Did you make up the recipe or is it one you can pass on …

  5. xltilde permalink
    August 26, 2007 8:53 am

    Plant that vineyard immediately!

  6. August 28, 2007 2:14 am

    James + Linda,

    Need more land but there will be no chardonnay!


    The potatoes are very thinly sliced on a mandolin. After doing this, they are soaked in water until I’m ready to use them. When needed they are dried and tossed in garlic, olive oil and rosemary or thyme.

    The tomato sauce is slightly roasted tomatoes which are cooked down in a stockpot, pureed and sieved. Put glass jars and processed. Italian passata style.

    Herb paste – parsley, garlic, rocket and other green herby things at hand. Pureed with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

    Pizza dough…use your favourite.

    Preheat your oven at it’s hottest setting.
    Roll out dough. On one pizza base, I started out with tomato sauce on the base, on the other the green herb paste. Layer potatoes on the bases. Single layer.

    Top with random blobs of tomato sauce and green herb paste. Not too much. Shave(use a potato peeler) cheese onto it.You could use mozzarella. Either way, I don’t like too much cheese on pizzas and not too many toppings- on this, I agree with the Italians! Drizzle with some olive oil. Into a hot oven until potatoes are cooked and pizzas browned to your taste.

    Buon appetito!

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