I have all of these posts in mind with all of these wonderful salads and drinks and the like in mind, but all that occupies my mind right now is the savage beating my beloved Spanish national team endured at the hands of the Brazilians. To be frank, the latter deserved the win; I don’t really understand what Vincente del Bosque’s strategy was during the match, particularly when it concerned not playing Cesc Fabregas at all and David Villa only a minimal amount of playing time. It will certainly make the qualifying matches much more interesting to see what he’s trying to do this time around, at least, but at least this Confederations Cup final has me intrigued by Neymar but I’m also very much waiting for him to be an overdramatic diver. Meanwhile, it was particularly horrific to see a great side completely fall apart during this game. I mean, who approved Sergio Ramos to take a penalty kick?? Xavi spoke for all of us with his facepalm:
One stat that popped up at the end noted that the winners of the Confederations Cup never go on to win the World Cup, but I feel like Brazil winning this and then hosting the World Cup next year is all but setting them up for a triumphant return to global football supremacy. I’m optimistic Spain can put a big old wedge in that plan, but in the meantime I should stop bitching about football and instead talk about the fantastic meal we made ourselves during the course of the match.
The food, for what it’s worth, was pretty fantastic. It largely came from Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, a cookbook I gave Michael for Christmas and is the platonic ideal of food to cook in the summer if you have a backyard and a grill (or a good hundred thousand dollars worth of grills if you are as fortunate as Bobby Flay). The good thing is that the recipes are completely adaptable to stovetops and cast iron skillets and even Griddlers, without adding massive amounts of heat units to the apartment in the meantime.
In retrospect, I realize that giving Michael this book is some long-term agreement that we will, eventually, have a backyard with room for a grill once again. I like to think that we can at least make the best of it with what we have now.
Seven Fires’ chimichurri sauce is piquant and spicy, but not aggressively so, but the salad is fantastic. The recipe actually calls for flatbread, but I didn’t feel like making it. A little fruit and some thinly-sliced ham should never turn one off of a salad, and this didn’t disappoint; salty and fatty and still crunchy from the arugula, with some needed tart from the strawberries and lemon and a hit of sweetness from the honey. It wasn’t my favorite salad of all time, but it has definite possibilities.
The real winner was the appetizer: burning some tomatoes in a pan, and topping some toasted bread slices with rubbed garlic, goat cheese, anchovies, burnt tomatoes and a simple parsley-garlic sauce. The recipe can be found below:
Burnt tomatoes with anchovies, goat cheese, and parsley-garlic-oil sauce
Adapted from Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way
Adapted from Seven Fires
- A dry pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6 oz of goat cheese, softened
- 1 good jar of anchovies (I suggest these), used as desired
- Half a head of parsley, minced
- Five to six garlic cloves, minced
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
- A half a baguette, sliced into pieces
Heat a skillet (NOT non-stick) over high heat, and gently place the tomatoes, cut-side down, in the pan. Sear for about four to five minutes and then remove, being careful not to stack the tomatoes on top of each other to prevent steaming.
Make parsley garlic sauce: when mincing garlic and parsley, do so together, add to a bowl, and then add about 1/3 a cup of olive oil and whisk well.
Toast or broil slices of bread, and then spread a thin layer of goat cheese over each slice. Top with 1-2 anchovies (if desired), tomatoes, and finally the parsley-garlic sauce. Serve immediately.