Saturday, September 15, 2007

wild vine-roasted squid

Some of the best things happen by accident. Or by serendipity. Last year, when we dug and pulled and cursed the wild grape vines from the edges of our property, we planted some of the vine stock, and the rest too gnarled and aged we cut up for grilling over or summer firewood. A pile of beautiful, torturous old vine sits in a pile under the shed attached to the barn. Yesterday, the fishmonger delivered some fresh squid, tubes and tentacles, to the restaurant, and we thought of that pile of grape vine and we thought of the squid. We knew it would be one of the first really cool autumn days of the season, and a fire made from that vine seemed the perfect compliment for the squid, some sausages and some aged mozzarella.

Rain came all morning, then blue sky started to show through at mid-day. Mostly cloudy, or mostly sunny? We wondered what the weathermen saw as the difference. We built the vined fire, cleaned and prepared the squid, a whole five pounds of it. We grilled the seafood until the edges were black with smoke and the air was thick with the perfume of roasting. We sat down to a lunch of our mixed bitter greens topped with pearl white beans, and then the vine-roasted squid mixed with a little crispy guanciale, a delicious cured pork not unlike pancetta. The flavors of a small glass of cortese di gavi, redolent of peach, apple and chalk white soil, wove into the taste of the smoky fish and salty pork. The sky darkened again, the day seemed to lengthen, then eventually, it was time to go into work.


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