I’m excited to feature KIMBERLY DERTING in my series where I pair good writing and good food to celebrate both at this harvest season.
I read THE BODY FINDER this month and truly enjoyed how Kimberly wove a wonderful love story with a tense mystery. It didn’t take me long to finish because setting the book aside wasn’t an option. I had to know how it ended. You will too.
Here’s a small taste of what you’ll find: “She heard her father gasp at the same time she recognized what she had uncovered. She felt his strong hands reaching for her from behind, pulling her firmly by the shoulders away from the fresh dirt and gathering her into his strong, safe arms . . . away from the sound that was calling to her . . .
. . . and away from the girl’s face staring up at her from beneath the soil. “
Chilling, right? But then there are some soft and beautifully written scenes that show a friendship slowly ripening into romance. And there’s humor that serves to heighten the tense parts. I stumbled on Hilary Wagner’s post about writing funny in dark moments and thought I’d link to that post for those of you who write. Adding a minor character or giving humorous dialog to your MC is a great way to involve your reader more deeply in your life and death scenes. To see how that’s done, read Kimberly’s story. She manages it very nicely.
Now, let’s eat.
Since The Body Finder is such a layered, light and dark story I started searching for layered food to pair with it. Here’s what I came up with. What do you think?
1 loaf country bread with thick crust, sliced into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
1/2 medium garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium clove, minced
1/2 C. pitted kalamata olives (Here’s your dark stuff.)
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 small shallot, minched
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 ricotta (Here’s your light stuff.)
ground black pepper
2 tbs basil leaves, finely shredded
Place bread on grill or foil-lined baking sheet. Grill or broil until deep golden, 1-2 minutes. Flip and repeat. Lightly rub 1 side with garlic, brush with olive oil, and season with salt.
Process garlic, olives, olive oil, shallot and lemon juice in food processor until uniform pasta forms about 10 seconds, scraping bowl with rubber spatula once during processing. Combine ricotta, salt, and pepper to taste in small bowl. Divide pesto on toast. Spread to edges. Top with ricotta and carefully spread over pesto. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with basil. Makes 8-10 Buon Appetito!
I’m making this for dinner guests and telling them to get their copy of The Body Finder. Let me know if you try the bruschetta and really be sure to tell me what you think of Kimberly Derting’s book. Did I do good at the pairing this week?