heirloom tomato, zucchini, grilled louisiana shrimp, guanciale and torn basil with sauteed arugula
global cooling. or at least it feels that way. the weather here in nashville is struggling to hit 80, and that pretty much means that it’s just plain glorious. temperate and sunny, this including the days just past and the rest of the week to come. since on any other given year it could easily be 90+, this is what you wish – no, pray for – to the god of all things good.
and even though it’s the last days of august here in the deep south, the tomatoes are still extraordinary – and the zucchini is as overly prolific as usual. so i threw together a simple summer dinner using gulf shrimp and just a touch of la quercia guanciale, because i am a very enthusiastic fan of the jowl, choosing it over pancetta time and time again. it’s just well, porkier. AND WHEN HAS THAT EVER BEEN A BAD THING?
but there was a crisis… a culinary disaster of the very worst kind…
you know how when you decide to sprinkle a touch of red crushed chile peppers from the bottle and you’re talking to your friends and not paying close attention to what you’re doing and you unscrew the cap and shake… AND THE ENTIRE CONTENTS EMPTIES INTO YOUR PAN? well, i did that. but thankfully, my friend rick heard me scream and came flying to the rescue and was on it. we quickly removed as much of the pepper as we could. he carefully rinsed off the dangerously smothered zucchini and tomatoes while i chopped more vegetables to try and spread out the heat a bit… and really? perhaps in the end it was slightly warmer than i’d have wished for – but it wasn’t too bad at all – it was even kinda verydamngood. plus it was a cool evening, so, PERFECT!
i got lucky.
this is my kind of cooking. just winging it, using the best of what’s available. i thought about adding roasted peppers but it was just one more flavor that although would have worked, was unnecessary and i believe in the end would have detracted from the dish.
and so i am forever learning this… that if you have what is already perfect, do the least amount to it and then appreciate it for what it is. for awhile now the food i enjoy the most is an interesting combination of a small number of high quality ingredients.