new year’s eve bruschetta

January 7th, 2010 · 17 Comments

i made a fair few things new year’s eve, but two of them in particular were really wonderful. this, a bruschetta made from a whole wheat la brea baguette with a gremolata of parsley, lemon zest, tuscan olive oil and garlic, topped with two paper thin slightly pan warmed slices of guanciale – was quite simply, delicious.

alas, the idea was once again gently borrowed from ‘city house‘ here in nashville. chef tandy wilson’s version was slightly different, but the basic elements were much the same.

nearly every dish has a story, and this one begins at lazzaroli’s here in the germantown neighborhood of nashville. tom is my savior in this town, a purveyor of all good things italian. i cannot stress highly enough how excellent his shop is. if you live in the nashville area and haven’t yet been, add it to your list of resolutions to go and check out this alluring little market. the guanciale he carries is from the renowned salumi in seattle. nashville may be culturally backwards and lacking in way too many things food related, but let me ask you this? can you get artisan cured meats in your little corner of the universe? because hey, guess what? I CAN!

(i’ve tried la quercia numerous times via mail order, but salumi gets my vote – hands down and for half the price.)

so i bought a piece of the guanciale but then had to deal with the business of getting it sliced paper thin. luckily, my local deli counter at ‘the fresh market’ was willing to do it for me in exchange for a taste – the quintessential win/win.

the fresh bread options in this town are at best, ok. i find myself prefering the ‘la brea’ offerings from the harris teeter grocery store. i like it better than most any of the other local options. it’s made in california and then baked in store. i probably wouldn’t have chosen the whole wheat version, but it’s all that was left at 6 pm on new year’s eve and somehow it was just right. the carbon footprint? major fail. i’m sorry planet earth. love you, mean it.

i got a bit lazy and didn’t even bother to toast the bread slices. i just schmeared on some of the gremolata, quasi-artfully placed the pork – and, ecco!

happy new year… it’s a brand new decade. i’m ready.

Tags: bread · pork

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lo // Jan 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Another fantastic example of how grande food really can be when it’s made with extraordinary, high quality ingredients.

    Was so excited to find a local producer of guanciale here in Milwaukee, I almost wet myself. Not sure if I’ll ever get paper thin slices out of it — but I suspect a more-authentic-than-not carbonara is in my future.

  • 2 Robert // Jan 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm


    It’s kinda the opposite of thick sliced bacon, huh. Ended up very pretty……..

  • 3 Maggie // Jan 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Yum. I love simple adornments of bread. I made a walnut pesto over the holidays that made me so happy.

  • 4 claudia // Jan 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    robert – it’s really not like bacon. it has a much deeper, porkier flavor. no smoke. there is some in your future…

  • 5 Jennifer Hess // Jan 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    That’s gorgeous. We’re using the rest of our guanciale in alla’Matriciana tonight, but next time we get some, I may have to do this.

  • 6 Peter // Jan 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    You should make your own. It’s stupid easy. Or I’ll trade you some for bottarga…

  • 7 maybelles mom // Jan 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    happy new years doll.

  • 8 nancy at goodfoodmatters // Jan 8, 2010 at 7:34 am

    You’re so right–Tom Lazzaroli, and his Germantown store are good food gems in our city.
    Here’s to delicious cooking and dining in 2010, while remaining light…

  • 9 dining table // Jan 9, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Ingredients may be that expensive but it is worth! The dish looks yum!

  • 10 kristie // Jan 11, 2010 at 9:01 am

    The answer, my darling and illustrious Claudia, is that I CANNOT get artisan cured meats in my corner of the globe. Unless you consider smoked, feedlot brisket to be “artisan cured.” And there’s no option of curing my own, since bread sometimes molds before I’ve even finished letting it cool. Such is the environment here. The great news is that my chances of getting neurosyphillis (tertiary) are basically zero because I’m eating penicillin mold by accident all the time.

  • 11 Rachel (S[d]OC) // Jan 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    How great to have access to that sort of thing. I was thinking to myself, “I wonder where she got her guanciale?” I can’t even think of a single place that carries it around here – even when I go into the city (although I’m sure the city dwellers can tell me where to get it).

    Such a beautiful presentation.

  • 12 rebekka // Jan 15, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Woah, thank you so much for the la brea tip! I haven’t tried that yet from H.T. I always eat Silke’s but am always craving better bread here, of course.

    And I had the original of this app. at City House recently… definitely worth imitating! Yours looks…dare I say…even yummier.

  • 13 Indian Takeaway // Jan 19, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Looks delicious and easy to make too, perfect for a party!

  • 14 yveala // Jan 25, 2010 at 12:48 am

    beautiful dish for a special night – happy happy new year

  • 15 Simon // Apr 26, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Looks delicious and easy to make too, perfect for a party!

  • 16 Christopher // Apr 27, 2010 at 8:55 am

    robert – it’s really not like bacon. it has a much deeper, porkier flavor. no smoke. there is some in your future…

  • 17 Richard // Apr 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Looks delicious and easy to make too, perfect for a party!

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