I don’t have kids, but I do have a 24×4 foot vegetable plot with Wasatch Community Gardens. So instead of scrambling around managing back to school this and that, I’m currently scrambling around trying to find various ways to eat all the tomatoes from the *EIGHT* tomato plants that I over-ambitiously planted in the delayed spring. Or the radishes that somehow never seem to end. Or the herbs that I’m trying to keep from going to seed. My gardening policy of benign neglect disappears during late summer and turns into chaotic desperation to not waste food. Enter the Table X Sourdough and this month’s food crush.
I’m on the record for crushing on bread. I like my carbs, and good bread really is my staff of life. The sourdough was always a staple in the restaurant. But during the early days of the pandemic, the crew there started baking and selling it as a way to bring in some revenue and keep their team employed. The bread took off and eventually led to a mini bake shop built out under the restaurant. They have a roster of breads that are available daily, Tuesday – Saturday, along with some selections that are only around one day a week. But their sourdough boule is the loaf that I get every single visit. According to their website, it is naturally leavened with wild fermentation and contains 100% local organic white and wheat flour. Each loaf takes over 36 hours to make, a real labor of dedicated care and time. Which shows.
The thing that really sets the Table X Sourdough apart is their mantra, “Dark Bread is Not Burnt Bread.” They use a steam-injected oven to make all our bread. Steam = crackly-crusted exterior + soft and chewy interior. Again from their website: “Darkness,” in terms of bread, actually is a good thing. It means that there has been a proper caramelization of sugars that lend to the complexity and the crust and crunch.” Amen.
Getting back to my over-harvest issues, one of my solutions is simple vegetables on toast of any type. Which makes for a no-cook quickie meal that doubles as a way to use up the produce haul. Here are a few of my late-summer faves to pile on top of my Table X bread.
Cultured Butter + Radishes + Smoked Sea Salt
This is a play on classic French breakfast radishes with salted butter, which is one of my favorite starters at bistros in Paris. I’ll spread the room temp butter nice and thick on a slice of bread, which can be toasted or just sliced and slathered. Bonus points if it is the house-made cultured butter from Table X as well. Cultured butter has a tang to it that regular butter does not. I slice the radishes thin on a mandoline and layer them like overlapping fish scales on the bread. I top it with smoked Maldon finishing salt. It is so simple, but the overlapping flavors from sour and toasty bread, creamy and fatty from the butter, sharp with a hint of heat from the radishes, and smoky and salty at the end. By the way, you can also do this with thinly sliced cucumbers from the garden as well for a kind of open-faced tea sandwich.
Pesto + Heirloom Tomatoes + Olive Oil
When I am overrun with basil that is threatening to take over the world, I do big batches of pesto. Some of which I freeze. But the rest gets slathered on everything. Here is where my overgown tomatoes show up, on toasted bread with a generous swipe of pesto, sliced tomatoes, and a drizzle of bonus olive oil. I always add some finishing salt and fresh cracked pepper as well. I will devour two or three of these over the course of a day. Sometimes I’ll add extra crispy bacon for a BLT riff.
Salted Butter + Sardines + Lemon + Cherry Tomatoes + Fresh Dill
My favorite version of a tuna sandwich growing up was canned tuna on toasted bread with lots of melty butter, fresh lemon juice, and fresh cracked pepper. This is my grown up nod to a childhood staple. The Table X Sourdough is perfect for this type of sandwich. I’ll toast it first so the butter had time to melt. I like salted butter to match the salt in the sardines. A big squeeze of fresh lemon, sweet cherry tomatoes sliced in half (of which I have roughly 1 million), and a sprinkling of fresh dill or any other overabundant herb to top it off.
I always have tinned fish on hand, and I will take full advantage of the added flavor bomb that comes in a tin of smoked sardines, or trout with lemon, or squid in hot sauce- all of which would be good here as well.
What about you? How are you using up your bonus veggies? Tips appreciated.
Table X Bread is located at 1457 E 3350 S underneath Table X Restaurant.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 8 AM-3 PM
See more stories like this and all of our food and drink coverage. And while you’re here, why not subscribe and get six annual issues of Salt Lake magazine’s curated guide to the best of life in Utah.