Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vegan Sausage with Grilled Peppers over Pasta; My List of Five Items Everybody Should Try

It's been too long since we've had artisanal vegan sausage by the Field Roast Grain Meat Company! Originally, I was planning on having a good friend over along with his brother who just arrived today for a visit from Europe, where he lives. I was going to make a "man-un-cotti" dish with manicotti shells filled with grilled vegetables and this sausage, but plans changed. I ended up having very little time to cook tonight, so quickly put together this apple-sage sausage dinner for my wife and me instead.

I simply grilled the sausage, sweet peppers sliced thickly, and garlic. I served plain pasta, put a little artisinal extra virgin olive oil on top, and added the sausage, garlic and pepper, and some olives, sundried tomato, and pickled sweet pepper. I also served exceptionally tasty heirloom tomatoes and rosemary sourdough bread, toasted with artichoke tapenade. Quick but yummy!

Five Items Everybody Should Try

On Sunday, I had described the request that I received by both Chris at Eat Air - A Vegan Food Log and primaryconsumer at A day in the life of a vegan to participate in the request going around to food bloggers. This was all started by The Traveler's Lunchbox on August 21, which is up to 1005 items (divided by 5 equals 201 contributors). We are to pick five "top picks for things you've eaten and think that everyone should eat at least once before they die". I had a list of fourteen items - of course, it's impossible to easily pick one canonical list, but I winnowed through the list, eliminating:

  • One of my current favorite treats, Ciao Bella Blood Orange Sorbet [not time-tested by me and too new a love]
  • I am currently excited about my idea from about a month ago of creating lime-seitan sticks, but that may be a passing fad. [same comment - too new]
  • Some of my favorite fruits like Minneola tangelo [do I have to give a reason?! I love many kinds of tangelos, mangos, passion fruit, ...]
  • My chocolate baklava (currently number 9 in a google search of "chocolate baklava"!) [I do love it, but maybe not in my top 5]
  • A dessert from the gourmet vegan restaurant Sublime (Fort Lauderdale, FL) [I love their desserts but I prefer Millenium overall]
  • Isle of Bute Foods' vegan "Scheese" (from Scotland and unfortunately not available in the U.S.; I discovered it in London this past January) [good but again not tested by time and really perhaps an over-reaction to having a good vegan cheese; along the same lines, should I have considered Field Roast Grain Meat Company's vegan sausage?]
  • A coconut-milk based vegan cake from Café Parizäde here in Durham, NC - as well as their grilled polenta with spinach [I elected to include the Thanksgiving feast in general]
  • Perhaps a fresh from the oven hot sticky bun from Sticky Fingers Bakery (Washington, D.C.)? [those buns are great! but top five?]
  • How about some divine dark chocolate of more than 65% cocoa content - such as from Sharffen Berger, Chocolove (especially their hand-numbered single-origin vintage Chocolatour bars), Endangered Species (especially Deep Forest Mint, Supreme Dark, and Dark with Cocoa Nibs)? [chocolate is considered "food for the Gods", but I just couldn't put these in my top five for some reason]
  • Vegan pizza from Pizza Lucé (Minneapolis, MN - they make their own cashew "cheese") or DaVinci's Gourmet Pizza (Nashville, TN) [this was tough - my memories esp. of Pizza Lucé make my mouth water, but I've really only been there a handful of times and can't remember fully how great these pizzas are]

So, here is my list!
  • A meal from my favorite restaurant, Millenium (San Francisco, CA)
  • Browned sauteed tempeh - by itself as a side dish or as part of a composite dish
  • The dishes at our annual vegan Thanksgiving at Café Parizäde - the largest vegetarian Thanksgiving in the country (in 2005, for example, we had almost 500 people come from near and far for a huge menu of all-vegan gourmet food!)
  • A good rava masala dosa
  • And, of course, any number of my Mom's dishes, such as her kachori or even homemade pizza (we lived for some years in Ohio in a multi-family home owned and occupied on one level by a lovely Italian woman who came to be in name and feeling a beloved grandmother of mine - Grandma Sapienza taught my Mom to make fabulous thin crust pizza)


At Sat Sep 09, 07:20:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice list. It's definitely hard to narrow it down. I'm with you on the dosa - I do like a good rava dosa too. And we really need to come down for the Thanksgiving feast one of these years. Sounds awesome.


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