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Tickle · the · Pear


two reliable stand-bys

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It's picnic and potluck time and I've been making the same two dishes for pretty much every event that calls for food. I like these recipes because they're easy, fast, inexpensive, healthy, easily transported, adjustable quantities, and can be served at any temperature. Oh, and they freeze well. And kids like them. And they're vegetarian.

spinach pesto + pasta
boil a heap of pasta (any kind, though I like three color rotini)
in another pot, toss in:
* a wad of chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
* as much garlic as you'd like
* some olive oil
* some pepper
* a handful of basil
* a boullion cube (I use a leftover flavor packet from ramen noodles)
* optional: peanuts or pine nuts, and/or a dash of vinegar

caponata
in a large pot, simmer:
* olive oil
* cubed eggplant
* diced tomatoes
* as much garlic as you'd like
* some capers
* some pepper
* a tablespoon of sugar
* a handful of basil
* some red wine vinegar

Did I mention that both dishes end up pretty as well?
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On June 25th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC), yoko commented:
I am so going to have to try that first one- it sounds delicious and we just about always have that stuff around our house! Do you serve it warm or cold? Or both?
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On June 25th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Either is fine - it's very forgiving!
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On June 26th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC), yoko replied:
Made the first one- delicious! I could easily eat a huge plate of this all by myself! And you are right- it is very forgiving. I wasn't sure on the amounts of anything, but it all seemed to turn out great. I think next time I definitely need to use more spinach though, I always forget how much it cooks down. Thanks for sharing!

I'll have to try the other also- I don't cook with eggplant or capers much- so maybe I need to expand my horizons . . .
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On June 27th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Here's the actual recipe for the caponata:

2 medium eggplants
1/2 c olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 stalks celery (I never put this in)
1 medium onion
1 c chopped tomatoes
1/4 c capers
1/4 c red vinegar
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs basil (fresh or dried)
1/2 t salt

Cube the eggplant and toss it all together into a pot. Let is sit on medium heat until everything's softened. It'll smell nice!
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On June 26th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC), curieuse commented:
Yay! Thanks.
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On June 26th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Let me know how they work out!
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