Last week I cooked…

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersBroccoli cheddar soup. Yes, again.  Easy and a delight. Served with bread and a salad with roasted beets, apples, pecans, and a Dijon honey vinaigrette.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersEggplant parm and pesto pasta. This was dinner upon our return from the weekend away. Eggplant and pesto pulled out of the freezer, water put on to boil for the pasta, and dinner within 30 minutes of arriving back plus lunch leftovers.

Ottolenghi’s corn polenta with eggplant sauce (pictured at top). This is one of those recipes I’ve passed over a hundred times, always planning to get to it later. Well it was finally the time, and I pulled the last eggplant I picked from the garden last week out of the fridge that needed to be cooked right that second. The eggplant took longer than 15 minutes to brown on medium for me (maybe 25), but then the rest of the dish came together quickly. I didn’t have fresh corn, so I used regular polenta from the pantry and stirred in some whipped feta at the end. The eggplant sauce was intensely tomato-y in the best way possible, and a perfect topping to rich polenta. I waited too long to try this, but won’t to remake it.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersFrittata with leeks, kale, dried tomato, and feta and buttermilk biscuits. I have a little skillet and a very large skillet, and went with the large to make this frittata which was a bit ambitious (probably should have gone with the cast iron). What resulted was more like sautéed kale with a leek frittata base, but it was quite enjoyable. I rarely follow a frittata recipe anymore, but just saute the veg I’m using in the pan, beat the eggs with milk, salt, and pepper, add cheese (crumbly like feta goes straight into the pan, melty like cheddar goes into the eggs), pour the eggs into the pan and stick it in the over for 10 minutes on 400F. I just wanted a most basic of biscuit recipes so I used one from the Joy of Cooking which made for thin biscuits, but they did their job. I’m on the hunt for a go-to buttermilk biscuit recipe, if there are any suggestions.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal Matters

Chickpeas and dumplings. This is another test recipe for The First Mess cookbook. A hearty, vegetable packed stew that thickened nicely with dill dumplings on top.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersThe return of oatmeal season!! I use 1:1 steel-cut to rolled oats, and 1:1 milk to water. If I have time, I toast the oats in a bit of butter before adding the liquid. Then I put in a chopped apple, pinch of salt, and sprinkle of cinnamon. Bring to a bubble on medium, and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Serve with maple syrup and dried cranberries.

Not something I cooked, but I watched the first few episodes of Chef’s Table this weekend and it is incredible. Fantastic production, fascinating chefs. I became disenchanted with food TV long ago (except for Alton Brown’s Good Eats, the eternal classic, and forgiving him for Cutthrout Kitchen). This show is devoid of cupcakes and EVOO references, and instead gets into the minds of great chef’s to understand their restaurants and what drives them to cook. It’s on Netflix, and worth using your free trial to watch (or invite yourself over a friend’s house to watch and offer to make dinner).


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