Tuesday, November 13, 2012


When I lived in Madison, my favorite dinner was bread and olive oil. There was a restaurant called "Greenbush Bar," under the Italian Workman's Club on Regent Street. Low lights, candles, and a regularly-changing scotch and wine menu. We couldn't stay away. The staff treated us with decency, giving us tastes of new things when we were skeptical, even though we were obviously twenty-somethings with barely enough money to make rent. Their food was basic and delicious. Addictive. One famously creamy linguini had flakes of smoked trout and a high lemon flair. My custom was to agonize over the menu until I finally ordered a small salad and a loaf of the white peasant bread they baked in house. The olive oil came on a little white plate, and a shaker of parmesan sat on every table. Mound the cheese in the center of the pool, swipe the bread into the mouth. Repeat until you need a new loaf. It was the best, most divine, most devastating comfort food I've ever obsessed about, and I just recreated it by accident. Here's the recipe: a Sweet Batard from Acme Bread Company, Spectrum Organic Mediterranean Olive Oil, and shredded Asiago in bulk from my beloved Co-op. That combo will set you back a bit more than a nightcap at Greenbush, but the olive oil is a proper investment. It's drinkable, and holds up to high heat. xox

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