Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sicilian Vegetable Pizza Roll

Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Today was the retirement party for one of my colleagues. She's younger than I am, but apparently thriftier or something, because she's managed to retire and build a beautiful home in Oregon, while I'm still going to work every day trying to get criminals off on a technicality. That is, I'm trying to protect the Constitution. (Happy Fourth of July, by the way).
Anyway, instead of having a fancy party, she opted to have an international-food pot luck lunch. Of course, I wanted to make a bread, and the Sicilian pizza roll sounded like it would be perfect.
I made some substitutions in this bread. When I first started this project, I vowed that I would follow the recipes as faithfully as I possibly could. (Don't you just love the web sites where someone says I didn't like this recipe at all--I substituted margarine for butter, and I didn't want to waste money buying fresh herbs so I used some old Italian seasoning, and I'm a vegetarian, so I substituted tofu for the prosciutto, and the recipe was no good)? The vegetables in this bread were broccoli, garlic, and Jerusalem artichokes, and even if I were really convinced that Jerusalem artichokes were the genuine Sicilian thing, they're not in season. I felt completely morally justified in substituting roasted red peppers and black olives for the Jerusalem artichokes. I even roasted the red peppers myself instead of using the jarred ones. I cannot apologize for this substitution; in fact, I find it hard to believe that the Jerusalem artichokes would be better.
The dough was easy to handle and fun to roll out, but it split while it was baking, so the olive oil leaked out and caused the bottom of the bread to burn. I contemplated not bringing the bread to the pot luck because of the burned bottom, but, instead, I spent about ten minutes scraping off the burned layer. I sliced it and served it, at room temperature, accompanied by a cruet of EVOO.
It was fabulous. Another bread that I might not have made were it not for The Project. I might have looked at it and said to myself, you know, I really like broccoli as a vegetable, but how good can broccoli bread be? If I'd said that, I would have been wrong. It was also immensely satisfying to hear people say, "You MADE this? Do you mean you didn't buy it, you actually made it?" This allows me to assume my modest look and say, "Oh, it was nothing, really. Anyone could do it."

1 comment:

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

though i'm technically on vacation and supposedly off the web--i can't resist commenting on this one of my favorite of all postings though a few further down i will get to later as they are all so wonderful and comment provoking. yes--i've even made this bread with a "coucous" filling minus the couscous component, i.e. sautéed merquez sausages, sautéed unions, chick peas, cilantro. do try the sun chokes--it is hard to describe just how special and sort of earthy they are and topped with duxelles...i'll say no more except that you continue to be my favorite blog writer! oh--use parchment so if there is cracking the bottom will be more protected.