Live from Big Sur. This place is so beautiful that it practically restores my faith in the human race and this gorgeous planet that we live on. Somehow mankind hasn't managed to ruin all of it just yet, and I feel very lucky indeed to have finally, finally made it here. How did it take me so long? I'm not sure. But I know that now that I've found this place, I'll be needing to come back again and again and again. Heaven on earth turns out to be a mere three hours from my home in Oakland.
The place that we're staying is like a treehouse in the redwoods. It's so beautiful in an of itself that you could just check in and not even bother to venture out to check out the scenery down below. But oh, you'd be missing out on something amazing if you didn't drive along the coastline and take in the bluest waters, the whitest waves, the clearest skies. It's been a long time since I found myself having my breath taken away like this at every turn, and I have been drinking it in.
Tonight we could have gone out to any number of restaurants with delicious (albeit VERY expensive) menu items to choose from, but we wanted to maximize our time in the treehouse. So we bought some pasta and an onion and some garlic, and used it, along w/ the goat cheese & aged gouda we'd brought from home, and the passel of ripe, juicy tomatoes from our garden, to make a perfectly delicious dinner to enjoy on a hot, hot summer night in a treehouse way up in Palo Colorado National Forest above Big Sur. And it knocked our socks off.
If it seems like goat cheese and aged gouda are a weird combination, just have faith. Think of the aged gouda as if it were parmesan, which you could certainly use if you so desired. But we just used this cause we had it, and it worked beautifully.
This is more of a guide than a recipe.
First, dice half an onion. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Pour some olive oil into a skillet and slowly saute' the onion with a little salt. Keep it over low heat and stir it occasionally while you're chopping the tomatoes. I used about a dozen cherry tomatoes cut in half, plus three whole tomatoes diced into bite-sized pieces. Then I chopped four large cloves of garlic.
After a little while of cooking the onions, they started to slowly turn golden and soft. I splashed a little red wine into the skillet and kept stirring. I probably would have used balsamic vinegar, but didn't have any, so just used what I had on hand. Kept stirring occasionally over low heat.
Meanwhile, I tossed a small handful of the raw tomatoes into a big serving bowl along w/ a splash of olive oil and a little bit of goat cheese, the creamy kind.
Once the pasta was added to the boiling water, I added the garlic to the onions and kept stirring for a few minutes, then added the remaining tomatoes.
About ten minutes later, when the pasta was done, I added it to the bowl with the raw tomatoes & olive oil & goat cheese. Then I stirred in the skillet full of tomatoes, onions & garlic. And added salt & fresh ground pepper, a little more goat cheese, and a topping of the grated aged gouda. And it was heavenly. The perfectly heavenly meal while visiting heaven on earth. I can hardly think of anything better.