Food

the 15 of 2015: best pizza in the world

We’re pretty much all about food and wine in this house, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of my top things from 2015 was finding and eating the best pizza ever. I’ve eaten a lot of pizza and this was seriously the best I’ve ever had.

Where did I have such good pizza? Unsurprisingly, I had it in Italy. I know, I know… but I’ve had a lot of pizza in Italy and, for the most part, prefer Nomad Pizza in Hopewell, NJ or DC’s 2 Amy’s. But the pizza to which this post refers was found in the adorable town of Gorizia, Italy, on the border with Slovenia.

My brother came for his spring break and in addition to showing him around Belgrade, we took a trip to Istria (of course!), hitting both the Croatian and Slovenian parts, and Italy. It was a fabulous trip, despite some cold and occasionally rainy weather, and we spent a lot of it tasting wine.

When we got to Gorizia, I let Grant look into where we should eat. After perusing TripAdvisor reviews and checking out pictures of pizza, he picked  a restaurant called Al Cavallino. We went into town to check things out and ultimately got help from a friendly Italian guy (aren’t they all?), who pointed us in the right direction and told us it would probably be too far to walk from where we were.

 

gorizia_pizza.png

The restaurant itself was nothing special, although it was crowded with people who were clearly regulars. Our waiter spoke English and knew many of his customers’ orders without having to ask. He also showed no surprise whatsoever to find us back in his care two nights in a row!

In typical Italian fashion, the coperto (a “cover charge” that is in place at most restaurants, since tips aren’t expected) decreased the second night we were there.

Long story short, it was the best. Pizza. Ever. If you find yourself in Gorizia, make sure you stop by!

recipe: curried lentils

When I got married, one of the things my mom gave me was the “More-With-Less” Mennonite cookbook, something she and my dad had often cooked from in the early years of their marriage. Although I haven’t used it nearly as much as I should have (as everything we’ve tried has been excellent), one of the staple comfort dishes in our house is the recipe for curried lentils found in this book. In fact, it was the first recipe I tried making from the book because it is one of my parents’ favorites!

The lentils are easy, delicious, and very filling. They can be eaten on their own or served with rice — and sometimes rice is necessary, depending on how hot the curry powder makes the dish! (For example, the curry powder currently in our pantry happens to be very spicy, much more so than what I had picked up in a small tea and spice shop recommended to me by a local in New Delhi when we were in India!) I’ve even made them vegetarian-friendly by using vegetable instead of beef bouillon.

Although the weather here cleared up at the end of the day, when I was running around town doing things it was quite cold, overcast, and threatening to rain… so I decided it was the perfect day for this warming dish. To make it even nicer for me, I ended up chatting on the phone with my mom when I was making it today; while she isn’t actually here with me, for a while, it felt like she was!

IMG_3791

Basic Cooked Lentils:

  • 1 c lentils
  • 2 1/2 C water
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 bay leaf

Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer 20 minutes.

Curried Lentils:

Saute together:
  • 3-4 T butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Add:
  • 1-2 T curry powder
Fry briefly. Add to Basic Cooked Lentils with:
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • chopped parsley

Adapted from the More-With-Less Cookbook.