Just For A Sandwich…

Don stopped by in the morning and we speed up to Arthur Avenue. Objective: sandwiches for lunch. We arrived to the Bronx from the Lower East Side in less than 30 minutes, no time wasted.

There, we made our first stop at Casa della Mozzarella for roasted red peppers, prosciutto di parma and the highlight of the day…

…fresh mozzarella.
“How much do you think we need?” he asked.
“Er, a pound?”
“Or three?”

And so three pounds it was, three pounds of luscious fresh mozzarella softer than a baby’s bottom, cotton balls of milky sweet heaven twisted just minutes before by the two fellows pictured above.

Mozzarella safely in tow – we made twenty steps up the street, turned to the left, walked one block over and straight into the warm comfort of the Madonia Brothers Bakery. Endless loaves of bread up ahead, an enormous case devoted to biscotti, and rings and rings of prosciutto bread to our right.

Two savoury prosciutto studded rings for snacking and a loaf for the sandwich.

And then, “how about cannoli?” he asked. And of course, one should never be silly enough to deny cannoli. Filled to order.

So four it was. Two to eat the second we got in the car – while the shell was crisp and crackled into the soft, cool and sweet chocolate chip speckled cream. Two saved for lunch.

A pause in at the butcher next door for guanciale, and just as quickly as we arrived, we left, speeding back down to the city.

We dashed into the apartment, eager to run back out before the Greenmarket would be flooded with Saturday shoppers, and paused only long enough to open up the container of mozzarella, and observe the plush white knobs before plucking up the first of many and gently easing it apart. Oh, gorgeous. Supple and sweet like you’d never think to imagine. We strung it apart, splitting it down the middle. And then another. And another. And over and over again until one of us, I cannot remember who, suggest we stop before there would be none left for the sandwiches. Oh yes, the sandwiches, how silly to have almost forgotten!

A morning stroll to the Greenmarket for Ronnybrook heavy cream, tomatoes and plenty of basil. The soon-to-be sandwiches demanded fresh pesto.

And so he toasted the pine nuts. He chopped the garlic, made magic with the basil, aged parmesan and a dash of salt. And I did what I do best when good food is around. I tasted.

I tasted the pesto. First a dabble. Then a bit more. Followed by the spoonful. We moved onto nibbles of prosciutto, just a little more mozzarella and oh heck, why not a little snack. Yet another bocconcini unraveled, a vibrant smear of pesto and sliver of sweet roasted pepper. All wrapped in paper thin prosciutto and popped in the mouth just so. Who would ever, ever desire to eat out again?

But there was a plan. And there was a mission. And though there were delicious distractions, we got to work. Bread sliced opened, sherry vinegar, a never ending stream of mozzarella, untangled and layered upon with prosciutto and the bright red peppers. Pesto on top. Pesto on bottom. Cracked pepper. Maldon salt. And we were good to go.

Almost. A mason jar filled with Don’s cold brewed Counter Culture toddy and roasted almond milk – spring dessert and drink tied into one, the most delicious liquid I’ve experienced.

And then we set off to watch the 7th annual NYURI performance in Washington Square Park. More photos from the event on Flickr.

The picnic spread: sandwiches, cannolis, and coffee.

We met Sofia at the park, where she proceeded to share crisp almond tuiles from Oro Bakery. Ahhhh, the world is filled with too much good food. Awesome spring-time weather also doesn’t hurt.

One last bite, a splended Saturday :)

Cacti are back at the Greenmarket, and we made the middle one ours. Named it Helix :)

Flickr Set for the day.
Mozzarella on Serious Eats.

Casa della Mozzarella
604 E 187th Street
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 364-3867

Madonia Brothers Bakery
2348 Arthur Avenue
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 295-5573

Oro Bakery
375 Broome Street
NY, NY 10013
(212) 941-6368

  • J. Lo
    April 17, 2008

    yaaaaaayyyy for cannolis!

  • K & S
    April 17, 2008

    what a delicious Saturday!

  • Front Studio
    April 17, 2008

    i love the recounting of your day spent making sandwiches for the park!

  • Janet
    April 17, 2008

    man, that all sounds delicious! Care to share the recipe for that Counter Culture toddy?

  • anonymous
    April 17, 2008

    Kathy, what a visually luscious entry with such simplicity but undeniably delicious results! The shot of the fresh mozzarella is gorgeous in itself…what a great way to spend a Saturday! So with tax season over, does this mean more fooding?!

  • anonymous
    April 18, 2008

    mmmmm… those cannolis looks very yummy!! and those sandwiches … care to swap yours with my limpy ham sandwich?? Are those fresh mozzarella then same as fresh bococinni? Great to see that you are having a great day!!

  • anonymous
    April 18, 2008

    What a feast! Everything so fresh, you make me wish I was there to experience all that amazing food. Now that’s what I call good living.

  • anonymous
    April 18, 2008

    Kathy! Who is this Don?? And how does he know so much about food?

  • Ridonkulus
    April 18, 2008

    who is don? don is the man!sounds like the perfect picnic. :)

  • anonymous
    April 18, 2008

    Would you please clone Don and then send the clone to my house?Thanks!Winnie

  • rowena
    April 18, 2008

    I saw your comment and immediately thought…’Oh! Is tax season finally over?’ (I know it’s sometime in April but since it’s been ages since I’ve filed…)I guess this will mean that things will be back to normal – food posts!

  • anonymous
    April 18, 2008

    My mouth is watering after reading that.

  • KirkK
    April 18, 2008

    Hey Kathy – You sure got a lot done(and eaten) in a short time! I’m hoping that since tax season is over we’ll be seeing many more wonderful food posts…..

  • lily.violet
    April 21, 2008

    Hi Kathy, I’m been visiting your blog for quite some time now and I thought I’d finally say ‘hi’ now that I set up my own. I love reading about all the food adventures you go on! The sandwiches look amazing and so do the plump cannolis! Yum! -Cindy P.S. I name my plants too!

  • anonymous
    April 21, 2008

    those sandwiches look awesome! i wonder if they’re as good if you do not go all the way to the Bronx to get the goods?

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