Home > Uncategorized > Bottarga and a Lesson Learned (Again)

Bottarga and a Lesson Learned (Again)

August 31, 2012

Our friends, We3, back from 7 weeks in Italy, came over for dinner Saturday night. As it usually happens when we get together, we cooked, nibbled, sipped wine, chatted, cooked another course, nibbled, sipped wine, chatted, and repeated these steps again. Counting the cooking time, it was about a 5 hour meal. Very civilized and absolutely delightful. We3 had brought back a package of bottarga from Italy, and wanted to make one of our courses using it. A lesson that gets thrown at me now and then is the “Don’t assume, or form an opinion, until I give something a chance.” lesson. It was going to repeat itself that night.

 Chris’ description of bottarga was not enticing at all. He described it as salted and dried fish roe sacks. In this case, mullet from Sardinia. If I had read the Wikipedia definition before Chris made the salad, I would have wanted to try it even less than I did at the time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botargo

 Chris whipped together a lovely looking salad with thinly shaved fennel and French radishes, very lightly dressed in some olive oil and lemon juice. He grated the bottarga and mixed it into the salad. As a finishing touch, Chris grated some more over the top of the beautifully arranged mound on the plates. The bottarga, in appearance, reminded me of an orange-yellow tobiko. I looked at the pile of salad on my plate, wondering how, after I politely tried a few bites, would I ever be able to eat the whole thing. Well, I ended up wishing that there was even more of that salad for me to eat. It was absolutely delicious. And, because of the path the bottarga had taken to get to our house, it was so very special. With supreme generosity, the remainder of the bottarga was left for us to enjoy. And we will enjoy, not only another salad, but also the feeling of being in Italy, enjoying with our friends, where that bottarga came from.

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