Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prosciutto, Parmesan, & Arugula Sandwich ...inspired by Sideways {food 'n flix}

A film that is a celebration of wine.  I'm definitely down with that.  Thing is, you also need to be okay with a bit of "crass" to be down with Sideways, as well.  The story of oenophile Miles taking his best buddy from college, Jack, on what is meant to be a mellow tour of California wine country as a send-off before Jack gets married the following weekend.  Miles has a schedule down pat...vineyard tours, wine tasting, maybe a bit of gold, and good food in between.  The only problem?  Jack, who is basically his polar opposite, is looking at this week as his final hurrah.  Sure, he wants to drink wine.  But he's not so into the specifics of how each particular wine was made.  He just wants to party.   And get as many girls into bed as he possibly can before he's only "allowed" the one.

Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden church are joined by Victoria Madsen and Sandra Oh to play these very real characters whose personalities seem to be portrayed by their views on wine.  Miles is methodical and appreciates the underdog.  Jack is a man-child who is ready for anything.  Maya is accepting and inquisitive.  Stephanie is hopeful and upbeat.  Hmmm...I wonder then if my views on wine define me, as well?

You will find humor, friendship, love, sex, wine, food...basically the things that make up life...in abundance throughout the film.  It makes me want to head out to wine country with a full picnic basket and a wine key.
And nestled inside my picnic basket would be this sandwich wrapped in wax paper.  Soft little ciabatta rolls filled with airy holes sandwiched around salty, seductive prosciutto and thin, pungent slices of parmesan all topped off with some peppery baby arugula and the earthy, muskiness of truffle oil.  A bottle of bold, perfect Dreaming Tree Chardonnay ("big fruit and loads of spice") from California's central coast and a wine glass would be tucked alongside with a fun napkin.  And a book.  That's pretty much bliss.

I had to tell you an interesting little story, as well.  You know how everything in life seems to go full circle?  Well.  I hadn't watched Sideways since it was first released in 2004.  So basically, I'd forgotten most of the dialogue and nuances.  Go back to ...oh, say... 1995 or so.  Dave Matthews has been my favorite guy for years and years.  Back then I was in college.  I found a great little interview with him in some magazine.  I don't remember exactly which one.  Spin?  Rolling Stone?  Something along those lines.  Anyway, he mentioned a couple of books that he enjoyed in the article.  So like any devotee worth their weight, I promptly went out and bought those books so that I, too, could read them.  One of them became a favorite of mine.  A book that I continued to dust off every couple of years or so and re-read.  That book was A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
Somehow I missed the part in the film (or just neglected to register) the first time I watched it in which Miles is depressed after finding out his novel was rejected again. Jack is trying to console him. This is how that "comforting" played out...

Miles: Well, the world doesn't give a shit what I have to say. I'm not necessary. Had. I'm so insignificant I can't even kill myself.
Jack: Miles, what the hell is that supposed to mean?
Miles: Come on, man. You know. Hemingway, Sexton, Plath, Woolf. You can't kill yourself before you're even published.
Jack: What about the guy who wrote Confederacy of Dunces? He killed himself before he was published. Look how famous he is.
Miles: Thanks.

So. I had already bought a bottle of wine in anticipation of watching the film again. It wasn't a Pinot Noir (though I do love Pinot), but it was a fantastic bottle of Chardonnay made by my aforementioned favorite guy, Mr. Dave Matthews (along with Steve Reeder) in his California winery. Dave. The one who prompted me to read A Confederacy of Dunces. Which was mentioned in the film Sideways. Which I watched while drinking wine made by Dave Matthews. I consider that full circle. Life is funny that way.

Prosciutto, Arugula, and Parmesan Sandwich

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Keywords: sandwich prosciutto parmesan arugula truffle oil July 4th

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 2 Ciabattini/Ciabatta Rolls
  • ~2 oz. Prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • ~1 oz. Parmesan, thinly sliced
  • 2 small handfuls baby arugula
  • truffle oil, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
Slice the fresh ciabattini (ciabatta rolls) in half. Divide the prosciutto between the two bottoms of the rolls. Do the same with the Parmesan. Divide the baby arugula between the two buns and drizzle with a little truffle oil. Grind some black pepper over the top. Set the top half of the roll on top of everything.
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Food 'n Flix is being hosted by my pal Tina of Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor with the chosen flick Sideways.  And might I mention that I'm actually posting early in the month for once...you still have plenty of time to join in the fun, if you like.  Please head over to check out Tina's announcement post for more details - we'd love to see what Sideways inspires you to cook/make/bake in the kitchen!
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