(070: Summer vegetables. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
M and I went to the dentist yesterday for our semiannual cleaning and check-up. All is well with the choppers (since there is an inquiring mind out there that wanted to know).
A trip to the dentist also means a trip to our favorite Akron Italian market: DeVitis. We loaded up a few bags with all sorts of goodies including my favorite olive salad, artichoke salad, and cheeses. Cheese is one of my big weaknesses when it comes to healthy eating, but I’ve found that a little bit of a tasty and strong cheese can go a long way without messing up the diet at all.
As I mentioned yesterday, I had a big bag of basil to deal with. I bought the basil at the local farmers market on Saturday and stuffed it into the fridge until I had time to do something with it. I got a good deal on the basil. When I asked the man selling it how much it cost, he said he didn’t know because they hadn’t figured that out yet but how does $3.00 sound? I said it sounded just fine and bought it. To be honest, I have no idea how much a bag of basil that size should cost. I suspect it might be more than $3.00.
I made two (one-cup) batches of pesto yesterday, using the basic pesto recipe from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. Very simple stuff: basil, pine nuts, garlic, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Whirl it around in the food processor and voila! You have pesto. I toasted the pine nuts for the first batch. I like them toasted and wondered if it would add much change to the flavor of the pesto. I’ll let you know tomorrow. We’re having pasta with pesto for dinner tonight.
What looked like a great deal of basil was reduced to a small amount in no time. I also used some of the basil in the zucchini-tomato gratin I made for dinner. Today’s photo collage is a small collection of the pictures I took while assembling the gratin. The recipe for the gratin was from the recent Vegetarian Times magazine. It was labor intensive. There’s a lot of salting and draping of vegetables to reduce the moisture in them. The zucchini, after the moisture reduction, then has to be fried in olive oil until golden before layering it with the tomatoes, basil, olives, and cheese.
Was it worth the effort? I think so. It was delicious. Will I make it again anytime soon? Not likely. It falls into that “fussy foods” category (wherein the means involves a lot of fuss to get to the end or the completed project), and I prefer fresh, fast, and simple most of the time. It is nice to have something a little beyond that once in a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
We had some storms roll through yesterday. I’ve been wanting to start a Tuesday video meme of my own. Two Minutes at Breezy Acres, or something along those lines. Two minutes may be a little too long so I could end up reducing it to One Minute at Breezy Acres. In the meantime, here is yesterday’s two minutes of a summer storm as seen from the top of the new spiral stairs (where I was able to keep myself and, most importantly, my camera dry).