Name: Sarah Bolla
Blog: Lemon Fire Brigade
If you had to blog about one ingredient every day for a year, what food it be?
I love to add acidity to just about everything I cook and prepare, so my use of lemon could go a long way on the site.
What’s your go-to quick and easy dinner?
My go-to dinner starts with perfectly cooked pasta dropped into a large sauté pan of freshly sliced garlic that has fried in a pool of good olive oil. It’s been given a pinch of red pepper flakes, and then tossed with a quickly sauteed green vegetable that holds both color and crunch. I ladle installments of pasta water into the pan to help the sauce emulsify and adhere to the pasta, check and adjust consistency and seasoning, add a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a grate of parmesan. I fall back on variations of this pasta from one week to the next.
What is the first meal you ever cooked?
Turkey tacos and guacamole with Mom.
I will never eat:
I’m a pescatarian and I can’t even imagine eating meat again, but to say I will never eat something defeats the whole purpose of what I do. I am up for trying anything at least once. Although for the sake of discussion, as of late, I’ve been telling myself that there isn’t a dish on this earth that could make me eat pork again. But “never”? That’s a strong word.
What is your favorite restaurant and what do you order there?
There is a very special pizza spot conveniently located a few blocks from my apartment in the East Village of Manhattan called South Brooklyn Pizza. It’s the quintessential “old style” New York pizza shop that carries a strong emphasis on fresh and quality ingredients. Their attention to detail is unparalleled by any other pizza spot I’ve frequented. Upon walking into this at times claustrophobic shop, you’re immediately surrounded and greeted by shelves of the various ingredients being used to create these pies. An abundance of olive oil tins and empty cans of San Marzano tomatoes line the brick walls and vintage pizza cutters tack the ceiling while the aroma of roasted garlic bulbs and freshly picked basil quite literally mark the air paths in and out the door.
My order is their margherita slice. The crust is crisp but gives a nice chew while it’s swirled with kosher salt-seasoned crushed San Marzano tomatoes, topped with buttery slices of fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. Although ordering one slice is never enough due to the ever taunting “fresh pie,” which always seems to emerge during the course of savoring my initial piece. Serving dishes filled with a mash of roasted garlic cloves and house pickled cherry peppers line the counters. By dressing up a slice with these offerings, you’re showing up and keeping it real. It’s happy stuff. The garlic lends a sweet and earthy component, while the peppers surprise you with a mildly hot and super tangy bite. I take everyone who doesn’t live in New York to South Brooklyn Pizza.