Taste of the Week: A slice of seeded perfection

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No loaf of bread is ever absolutely perfect, but I sampled a loaf from Boulder’s Dry Storage recently that came pretty close. There’s a lot to love about Dry Storage’s sesame seed country loaf, from an exceptional sourdough taste to its buttery toastability that brings out the sesame joy. Bakers slow-ferment house-milled organic Yecora Rojo and spelt flours to produce a chewy crusted, moist-in-the-middle treat.

The Dry Storage cafe is serious about toast, which can be ordered with house-cultured butter or house-made jam and chocolate hazelnut spread. Other loaves (and slices) include a seeded rye loaf and a baguette.

Other breakfast items include onigiri, breakfast egg and sausage sandwiches on fresh brioche buns, quiche, and pastries including chocolate croissants.

I also enjoyed a scratch-made savory puff pastry with leeks, brie and oyster mushrooms with pea shoots and arugula flowers. 

Dry Storage’s freshly milled flours are available by the pound in varieties that include White Sonora, Rouge de Bordeaux and Abruzzi Rye to use at home making breads and pastries. 

Another Roadfood Attraction: Where the dips are

If you are traversing the I-25 corridor this summer and need a reviving pit stop, I’d suggest an oldie but goodie: the family-owned Damascus Grill at 1399 W. Littleton Blvd. in Littleton. The menu is the greatest hits of Middle Eastern cuisine, ranging from gyros with spiced, thin-sliced meat to felafel, lamb shank with rice, and fire-grilled ground lamb kafta kabobs.

Lately, I skip all that and go in on dips served with warm pita bread. I start with the tahini-rich hummus and move on to the smoky baba ganoush with its slick of olive oil. Next up is labneh (tart, savory strained yogurt) and muhammara, a tasty paste of walnuts, red bell peppers and pomegranate molasses. 

After that deliciousness, I opt for a chunk of honey-soaked baklava and hit the road.

Boulder Recipe Flashback: A serious salad

BJ’s Pizza Grill and Brewery was open for many years at 1125 Pearl St., former location of Pearl’s Restaurant and West Flanders Brewing Co. This year it will become the home of Dickens 300 Prime Steakhouse. BJ’s Pizza Grill was eventually replaced in Boulder by the larger BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse at 29th Street. In the late 1990s, the eatery shared a favorite salad recipe requested by a reader. The Santa Fe Salad is still on the menu, although the recipe has been tweaked somewhat over the years. This is the original. 

BJ’s Pizza Grill & Brewery Santa Fe Salad 

1 each red, blue and yellow corn tortillas, cut in ¼-inch strips

Vegetable oil (for frying tortilla strips)

6 ounces Romaine lettuce, ½-inch pieces

4 ounces Santa Fe Dressing (recipe follows)

1 teaspoon Cajun blackening spice mixture (recipe follows)

2 ounces red onion slices, cut in quarters

½ avocado, sliced

3 ounces diced tomato

2 ounces roasted red pepper, diced 

2 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced

3 tablespoons roasted corn kernels

1 chicken breast or 6 ounces peeled shrimp

Cut tortillas in ¼-inches strips, fry in vegetable oil and drain on paper towel. Gently toss Romaine, onion, avocado and tomato with dressing and ½ teaspoon Cajun spice mixture. Place on a large plate and surround with corn tortilla strips. Sprinkle corn and cheese on salad. 

To blacken chicken breast or shrimp, heat a cast iron skillet and add vegetable oil. Dust meat or fish liberally with Cajun spice and cook carefully in a skillet. When done, place on top of the salad. Serve with extra dressing on the side.

To make Santa Fe dressing: Combine 1 cup of high-quality ranch dressing with 2¼ teaspoons chili powder and ¼ teaspoon cumin powder. Taste and adjust seasoning. Optional: ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder. 

To make Cajun blackening spice mixture: Combine 1 tablespoon paprika, ½ tablespoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, ½ teaspoon cayenne powder, two teaspoons each: black and white pepper, 1 teaspoon thyme and 1 teaspoon oregano. 

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Send information about Boulder County and Colorado food and drink events, classes, festivals, farm dinners, farm stands and tastings to: nibbles@boulderweekly.com.

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