One of the many pleasures of vacation is taking the time to savor wine and spirits al fresco. The joy of sipping an oakey lush white wine while watching the waves lap against the shimmering sand or sipping a summery gin gimlet as the sun sinks into the bay in a blaze of glory is quite simply..... sublime. As far as I am concerned, it's all a fitting reward for surviving the stress of everyday life--from the shit days at work to the over scheduled weekends at home. These moments of sipping lovely libations wash away all the unpleasantness, all the stress and all the less-than-happy times in my not-so-perfect life. And, they make it all somehow very perfect.....
What do those folks do who don't partake in such pleasures do to bring perfection to their lives?
Don't answer that. I think I know.
I'm on vacation.
And life is perfect.
Gin and sunset awaits me.
But, before I go, I thought I'd share an absolutely incredible, band-friendly, sorta-healthy recipe that I scoured from the pages of August's Bon Apetit as I sat in my beach chair sipping today's white wine of choice.....a local chardonnay and sauvaignon blanc medly....
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed
- 6 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills scraped out
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
- 6 1/3-inch-thick heirloom tomato slices (from 2 very large tomatoes)
- 7 to 8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
Place mushrooms on grill, gill side down. Grill until edges begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of mushrooms. Transfer mushrooms to same baking sheet, gill side up. Nestle 1 tomato slice into each mushroom. Divide ricotta cheese mixture atop sliced tomatoes, spreading to cover, about 3 tablespoons per mushroom. Top with Fontina cheese slices, dividing equally. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese over each. Carefully return mushrooms to grill. Cover barbecue and cook until mushrooms are soft and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle remaining chopped fresh basil over. Place mushrooms on plates. Drizzle remaining dressing around mushrooms and serve.
Oh how I love vacation....when I can actually languish over each page of my fav foodie magazines and actually enjoy reading each and every recipe--taking in their flavours without even worrying about their fat content, their carbohydrates or how difficult they are to make or how much the ingredients will cost. Thus saving all my calories, all of my energy and money for the wine and gin....
See....I told you.....my life is perfect....
But, honestly....try this recipe.
And, have a libation with me as you grill........