I found these two words running through my mind over and over again last week.
First, in the kitchen when I was exploring the wide world of sea vegetables. Seaweed is something I know is super healthy and I know I should probably eat more of, but never do. Until now. When I kinda of accidently made a seaweed pizza.
Yes, seaweed pizza. And it doesn’t really taste like seaweed at all. Which is why I like it. It has some umami flavor going on and a hint of seaweed way, way in the back but mostly it’s savory, salty and tastes like olive tapenade. As it turns out, dulse seaweed and kalamata olives blend together amazingly well. I discovered this after buying whole leaf, dried dulse seaweed for the first time last week.
I soaked the dulse in water for a few minutes to soften then sauteed it in olive oil. It was okay, but still had a noticeable ocean-fresh flavor that I don’t love. I threw it in the food processor with garlic and blended it up, quickly realizing that it looked just like tapenade.
So I threw some kalamata olives in. And then I added more, until the flavor of seaweed was hardly noticeable and I had a healthy, rather delicious tapenade. I also happened to have a pizza crust in the refrigerator, some feta, shallots and mushrooms and voila! The dulse pizza was born.
The combination of the dulse tapenade + feta on a pizza is salty, but we’re a salt lovin family over here. Even O likes the pizza, but keep in mind she’s been raised on feta and olives and such since birth. On the days that I work and Sorin watches O, they’re usually in the kitchen together making prosciutto, feta and olive sandwiches for breakfast at 8am. So keep that in mind. But this pizza might be good with mozzarella too, and some herbs like thyme or basil. Try it, and let me know.
I buy Eden Foods whole leaf dulse (from Whole Foods) that’s harvested in Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick, Canada. I lost a good 2 hours of my life plugging the phrase “radiation contamination in seaweed after Fukushima” (2 hours filled with “wait, what?” moments while trying to navigate all those environmental watchdog websites) and ultimately decided that unless I’m also going to stop flying on airplanes and getting dental x-rays, I shouldn’t worry about eating a few ounces of dulse from Canada now and then.
Seaweed pizza aside, other “wait, what?” moments this week included:
- This article. I know, I’m the only one who cares. But I’ve always hated public funding of football stadiums, so finding out that the NFL has tax-exempt status and gets government subsidies and tax favors that add up to about 1 billion a year drives me insane. I feel agitated and angry and have no idea what to do about it.
- The whole government shut-down/Affordable Health care battle. Don’t even get me started. Personally, since my family does not have employer-sponsored healthcare and we were recently flat-out denied coverage, I can’t wait to sign up for “ObamaCare.” Bring it on!
(Can you tell I’ve just finished watching 2 seasons of Enlightened?)
But there have also been some lovely “wait, what?” moments, like re-discovering this song. Don’t ask why, but I’m rather enjoying not being able to get it out of my head.
Also, O’s vocabulary continues to grow in leaps, but the words come out in loopy ways and there is all sorts of crazy reasoning.
“Mama, when I’m a little baby then I’ll be old enough to eat gum. Mama, yesterday are we going to the park? I’m not going to sleep until we’re in New York (which isn’t going to happen until next year, so yeah, this is a problem ) and I don’t want to go potty because it’s not Valentines day yet.”
Front is back and back is front and breakfast is dinner and Valentines Day figures prominently in many conversations. It’s like living in a nonsensical, opposites world and I’m enjoying it.
And then, finally, there is the LA river. Wait. What? LA has a river? I know, it’s hard to believe, even for those of us who live here. The little portion that runs by our neighborhood has only a trickle of water and isn’t exactly gorgeous waterfront, yet.
But maybe it will be one day, which is exciting. In the 1930s, after much flooding, all 50 miles of the LA River were basically covered with concrete. The river ceased being a river and instead became a cement basin void of natural habitats and wildlife and any sort of beauty whatsoever. But, the river is coming back. Very slowly, but it’s nice to feel excited about something good happening in our neighborhood.
This past weekend we had all sorts of happy thoughts about the future of the river while strolling through the Frogtown art walk. It’s a fun neighborhood event, mellow and kid-friendly. We saw some art, drew on the sidewalk with chalk, twirled some hula hoops and dreamed about having an art studio in Frogtown (also known as Elysian Valley.) Doesn’t having an art studio sound dreamy? Even if, like me, you’re not an artist?
Dulse Tapenade Pizza
1.4 ounces dried whole leaf dulse seaweed
1 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
Soak the seaweed for 3 minutes in cold water to soften. Drain, rinse again, and then squeeze out as much water as you can.
Put the seaweed in the food processor with the garlic, olive oil and olives. Pulse until pretty much smooth (you could also try adding some fresh herbs to this)
Spread the tapenade over your pizza dough, the add toppings. I use 1/2 pound very thinly sliced mushrooms and 3 thinly sliced shallots, both tossed with olive oil, plus about 3 ounces of crumbled feta.
Bake until done.