Tuesday, August 16, 2011

veggie cookdown

Oh, how I didn’t want to make anything tonight. I couldn’t even look at Micah because I was afraid I’d be like: “Hey, you’ve had a hard day. Why don’t I run out and pick something up?”

But then I remembered the eggplant . . . and the squash . . . and that tomato that wasn’t quite ready but that we had already sliced so we had to use. Is that called being inspired? I like to think of it as “culinary acceptance” as in “Okay, I’m not going to order anything. I’m going to make something delicious.” For some reason, certain nights it is harder for me to get going cooking-wise. But always, seriously always, I am so happy once I get started.

Anyway, once I realized how much stuff we had, I started to get pretty excited. The peppers that were almost gone (I kept meaning to use them but, um, I forgot), some amazing chocolate cherry tomatoes, a few more tomatoes from my mom’s house, a shallot from Rachel’s yard, and garlic from our’s. This was turning out to be quite the local feast.

So here’s how it went down. I started with:

  • one eggplant
  • one yellow squash
  • a couple cloves of garlic
  • half a shallot
  • one long green chile pepper (seeds removed)
  • hodge-podge of tomatoes (about three in all, I used various sizes)
  • four canned black olives (what? they would have gone to waste and I wanted to use the juice! Note that this is four olives NOT four cans!!)
  • a little bit of boxed red wine for the sauce . . .cuz I’m classy
  • a bit of coconut amino acids because I had them – easily skippable
  • pasta of choice

Writing the ingredient list was, literally, harder than making this dinner. I love this because it is so adaptable (you can easily change the amount of eggplant, squash and tomatoes) and you do it all in one pan.

  • Chop up the garlic, onion, pepper, eggplant, squash, and tomatoes. I like to do what I call a “fat dice” on the eggplant and squash because I like them to be kind of chunky, but you cannot do it wrong.
  • Sauté the garlic and onion until the onions start to get a little soft.
  • Put all the stuff in (except the pasta) and cook the heck out of it (that is, cook on medium heat for at least 10 minutes, maybe 20).
  • Now you can get your pasta water going and throw the pasta in once it starts a-boiling.
  • Keep an eye on the food and give it a good stir every once in a while so everything gets a chance at the heat. You can add more liquid if you need it.

I start to taste after about 10 minutes (once the eggplant is done, you are good to go). Tonight, I turned mine down a bit to do dishes and it was ready in about 30 minutes.

It was so good. And the bonus is that I feel so relieved that I didn’t waste those veggies by waiting too long to use them. Plus, I have leftovers for lunches. Not too shabby!

1 comment:

  1. Oooohhh! I love it when dinner comes together like this. It is so easy this time of year. Saves money and, just like you said, it is so much fun once you get started.