March 2013

Roasted Vegetables with Pesto

March 21, 2013
Thumbnail image for Roasted Vegetables with Pesto

After my recent rant about pesto, I thought it only fair to share a new dish using home made pesto sauce. This recipe gets bonus point for being easy. It’s something you can throw in the oven to cook, then grill a piece of fish or chicken while it’s cooking and you have a meal in about half an hour.

These vegetables are something I’ve been making at least once a week for the past couple of months. To give credit where it is due, the dish was inspired by my mother, who offered up some vegetables out of her refrigerator before going out of town for a week. She suggested I roast the eggplant and tomatoes together with the mushrooms. I added a few other ingredients and served it during a weekend away with friends. Wouldn’t you know, it was a hit? The roasted mushrooms seemed to be …

Read the full article →

How to Make Pesto (plus a bit of a rant)

March 19, 2013
Thumbnail image for How to Make Pesto (plus a bit of a rant)

A few years ago on a trip to Rome, I met an American woman living in Milan who is married to an Italian man. She mentioned how her mother in law is so strict about the provenance of her food that she would never even consider eating pasta al pesto outside her home region of Genoa. At the time, I simultaneously scoffed at the idea and sat in awe of the level of conviction it takes to adhere to one’s beliefs regarding food in that manner.

Because I typically grow about a dozen basil plants every summer, I make batches of pesto and freeze them to eat throughout the year. What would her mother in law would think of my pesto? It’s not traditional in its execution, but the ingredients are (most of the time). She would probably be horrified that I use a food processor instead of mortar …

Read the full article →

Slow Cooked Chicken with Cannellini Beans, Fennel and Tomato

March 7, 2013
Thumbnail image for Slow Cooked Chicken with Cannellini Beans, Fennel and Tomato

Slow cooker, crock pot, Dutch oven; call it what you will, but all of these vessels utilize the same cooking process; one that is low and slow and yields the ultimate in slow cooking satisfaction; a house filled with tantalizing smells, and a warm, hearty meal which is easy to cook and serve. We may be into Spring weather now, but there are still plenty of chilly days that have me yearning for something simmering. Unfamiliar with slow cooking? Below is a bit of a primer along with a recipe to get you started.

Is there a difference between a crock pot and slow cooker?
The answer is yes and no.
Both have independent electric heating elements and lids to keep the heat in, but “crock pots” heat from all sides and some “slow cookers” heat from the bottom only, often via a separate heating plate. Today, the term “…

Read the full article →