Family time in SoCal

Uncle Al Skidmore and Tom enjoying Sandi’s hospitality.

Uncle Al Skidmore and Nancy visited Sandi in La Vista, from their home in North Carolina. Uncle Al’s granddaughter, Amy, surprised him from Michigan, I came from Santa Barbara and of course, Sandi’s girls (plus Aaron) made it party time on a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning I took the AMTRAK Surfliner back to S.B. feeling gratified and grateful.
 

Italian Summer Salad

Collect the ingredients, most of which came from farmer’s market this morning.

Mussels are rinsed, beards cut off, placed in covered pot of boiling wine and water. [Normally I’ll sautee shallots, garlic and mushrooms before bringing liquid to boil, but this salad will provide plenty of zest and zing.] In about five minutes the shells open, the meat dug out and set aside.

Add juice of a meyer lemon (or lime) and olive oil in glass bowl. Minced garlic, thin Italian Tropea onion slices and cut up tomatoes are added along with herbs, pepper and red cayenne pepper. Lots of sweet basil is cut up and then the mussels added.

Italian Summer Salad from the Buhl kitchen

While the colorful mixture rests I’ll prepare pasta – whole grain rotini this evening. Mix and serve with a favored wine. The 2016 Stolpman Grenache was tonight’s choice. 

Instead of mussels I’ve also regularly used left over roast chicken. Another lovely choice is line-caught king salmon from Saturday market. 

Good times at the Gastil-Buhl table.

Quest for an Italian Summer Salad

Italian Summer Salad from the Buhl kitchen

This summer I’ve fallen in love with a delightful and simple Italian Summer Salad. It is perfect for a wide range of wines. This weekend we opened a 2016 Grenache from Stolpman Vineyards (Ballard Canyon, AVA). Perfect.

Patagonia (the largest Tom Buhl Typographers client for several years, back in the day) has added PROVISIONS to their offerings. That program shares recipes using their product(s). I appreciate their recipes are simpler than those found in the likes of Sunset Magazine. I am not using Patagonia’s tins of mussels, preferring fresh, local mussels, but I do appreciate the recipe.

Before we can go into the kitchen, we go to market. I look forward to Saturday’s farmers market every week. Below are images from the August 18th market adventure relevant to the salad preparations.

Piedrasassi’s Carbonic Sangiovese is another delightful complement to this salad. So many fine wines available to us these days. We are most fortunate.

In the next post(s) I’ll show staging of ingredients and then the construction. I’m getting hungry writing of it.

Stolpman Vineyards Hike

cluster of early summer grapes

In June Gastil and I took a hike of the Stolpman Vineyards and learned of their mission, strategies and passion to do things the right way. Way too many stories and lessons to share but I was taken by their efforts to develop most of their own root stock as well as experiment with “self” rooting which Syrah seems to be the best candidate for extensive success.

They give these guided hikes monthly so check out the web site for details. Highly recommended.

After the hike we sampled a selection of their fine wines at the Los Olivos Tasting Room. Yes, purchases were made in the name of further research. www.stolpmanvineyards.com/