I am lucky to be the occasional recipient of Josey Baker's experiments. The next day, Jose gave me another hot bread of 100% bread – an essential, aromatic, a dark brown finely chopped crumb. It smelled like a big brewery – all the malt and the wheat and the warmth. And he asked to be cured properly.
The first question that came to mind was the cutting strategy … the consensus was: 1) Let the bread cool completely. 2) With this bread – not too thick, not too thin. Do not escape too much, but when it comes to toast, the thickness or thinness of the slice is the key. Some breads are offered on a thick plate – Blue Bottle Cafe (in downtown San Francisco) cooks an egg in the hole of Acme's pain de mie. Perfect. There are other breads that I like very sliced and toasted – Josey's rye comes to my mind, and the rye of the tusks of Anna – a beautiful typical local bread. As soon as he classified it, Jose went with his afternoon, and I started to think about what I finally put on bread.
Silvena Rowe's book was in my bag for a few days, I read it when I was in the bus or waited for coffee. So I started searching and settling in a variety of beets that I knew would be beautiful – the sweet earthly taste of roasted beets with roasted walnuts, chives, dates, a bit of pungency and a whirling cream.
Silvena has written some other books I have in my library – I suspect many of you may find them also inspired. I first bought Purple Citrus and Sweet Parfume: Eastern Mediterranean Cuisine and then Orient Express: Fast Food from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Crab caviar was a nice accompaniment to blackcurrant and I imagine it would be brilliant, like a spreading or stump, for almost anything – from toasted pita to harvest soup. A swirl would be nice in risotto, or as part of a mezze spread. Enjoy!