I <3 Saturday baking. (Taken with instagram)
This quick and colorful dish became a regular appearance on the dinner table this summer. It’s full of healthy veggies and makes great use of those fresh CSA items that I didn’t always have a plan for.
Summer Spaghetti Primavera
- 5 oz. uncooked spaghetti
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large handfuls green beans, rinsed and trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2-3 large summer squash, cut into 1/2 in. dice — I used a combo of yellow crookneck, zucchini and pattypan
- 2 Tbsp. pesto
- Parmesan cheese
Cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain. (I’m a huge fan of this energy-saving technique.) Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add green beans and garlic. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Add squash and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until squash has softened and is slightly golden. Toss spaghetti, vegetables and pesto together. Divide between two plates and top with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.
My husband is a great sport when it comes to what I do in the kitchen. He is willing to try anything I cook and he’s patient when I got on about improving something he finds already quite delicious. And he’s not a picky eater. Really there are only three things I cannot get him to eat: beets, eggplant, and okra.
Beets taste just a little bit too much like dirt for his preference (I even baked them into delicious cupcakes, with no success.) And eggplants and okra are slimy. And when okra isn’t slimy, it’s fuzzy. I get it, I do. But I also keep receiving these three vegetables in our CSA box in rather unavoidable quantities, which means I’m always having to come up with some way to cook or preserve them so that I can enjoy them all by myself before they go bad.
I’ve baked and pickled. (I’m quite excited to see how the pickled eggplant turns out!) And unfortunately I have composted as well. But today I wanted to try a little something different. Enter okra fries.
So we just got back from vacation this week, and as my mother says, the first day back from vacation is always the hardest day of the year.
Because we had been out of town, I hadn’t been to the grocery store in a while, and I wasn’t about to go on that first day back. So dinner was going to have to come out of whatever odds and ends we had in the pantry. Enter the Big Ass Pancake.
The original recipe just refers to it as Big Pancake (also often known as the Dutch Baby), but I prefer the added word, partly in homage to hilarious local blogger and artist Robin, who paints this great, and aptly named, piece here. I have recently become quite enamored with my cast iron skillet—so it’s role in this recipe was the first selling point. The second was that I had almost everything it called for. I say almost because I had to make “milk” out of fat free half & half and some water.
Nevertheless, the Big Ass Pancake turned out delicious in a big ass way. I halved the recipe to make just one pan, and my husband and I split it, topped it with some homemade applesauce, powdered sugar and a few drops of lemon juice. The resulting dish was somewhat like a cross between pancakes and french toast—and my husband said it reminded him of croissants. But it was good; and I will make it again. Probably this weekend.
P.S.: If you’re curious about cooking with cast iron but worried about the maintenance, check out this article for a super-easy way to keep up the best pan you’ll ever own.
Amazing chalk-drawn typography. Full story and more photos at Web Urbanist.
After throwing away a few too many half-eaten packages of bacon, I finally got smart. I put a serving of bacon (2-3 slices) in each compartment of a muffin tin and froze it, them transferred the bacon piles to a jar.
I am not, of course, the first person to think of this. I am told that my great-grandmother used to roll up individual slices like sleeping bags before freezing them. Smart lady.