There was excitement in the streets of Brooklyn as members of the Kavkaz Jewish Congregation paraded the Torah along Ocean Parkway, They were celebrating Simchat Torah. This marks the conclusion of a year’s reading of the Torah.
My wife bought a container of sun-dried tomatoes as part of our healthier approach to eating. As much as I like the tomatoes this way, I was slow to incorporate them into what I was eating. Days went by of me moving them around from shelf to shelf in the refrigerator while just eating a little piece at a time. The photographer in me decided to take a photograph of these nomadic sun dried tomatoes. It is true when they say that a stocked pantry and refrigerator makes it a lot easier to create spontaneous dishes on the fly. Taking a note from Diane, my wife who has been making herb pesto’s for a long time. I settled on making a sun dried tomato pesto.
Recipe: My version off the bat. With no food processor available, I used a blender instead to combine ingredients, not the best way but it still worked. A new food processor is on my “to buy list”
Combine a handful of sun dried tomatoes, a clump of basil leaves separated from the stems, 2 cloves of garlic, a half teaspoon of medium ground mixed peppercorns, a quarter teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and of course as much virgin olive oil as needed. Base how much olive oil you use on how it looks as everything blends together. For the amount of ingredients I had on hand I started with a half cup of olive oil, adding more until the blend had the consistency I wanted. I was surprised by how much olive oil the ingredients sucked up as I blended, so have enough oil standing by to add.
Well!! Those whole pieces of sun-dried tomatoes now had a new alter ego inhabiting their original container. Each day in the container the flavor gets better.
Over the next three days I had it over pasta 2 nights in a row. For the pasta I heated it in a small pan with a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water just to loosen it up a little. It was great alone on toasted bread; I even put some on a couple of sandwiches, I thought this is the way to go. Diane said “not bad”
Large scallions lightly oiled and grilled in the oven for five minutes or so until desired color, not too close to flame to avoid burning and keep your eye on it. This works as a rustic side dish or garnish.
Of course we have been informed and warned about the perils of too much salt in our diet. For some people cutting back on their salt intake is easier said than done. The food we grew up eating is a part of our culture and identity, which stays with us all of our lives. Even with access to foods from all over the world we long for the tastes we know so well and all the memories and emotions they bring back.
This photo was lit with strong daylight coming through the window which made the coarse sea salt on the scallions stand out. After the initial shots were done with just a sprinkle of salt I continued adding more salt to the scallions until I got this picture, that’s when I thought that’s a lot of salt there who, would eat that? Over time I have seen more than a few people add enough salt to the food on their plate to rival this picture. For a narrative to this salty picture I visited the C.D.C. Center For Disease Control, website to find out what their recommended daily salt intake should be and it’s effect on our bodies.