Vegetables and storms

(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).

6 Comments on “Vegetables and storms”

  1. krebiz says:

    Glad to hear the choppers are doing well.

    Pesto is sooooo good. I like Mark Bittman’s recipe too. Nice and basic. I also like to do it with walnuts towards the end of the basil season when something heartier is in order.

    We also stormed yesterday, but apparently Columbus did not. Hardly seems fair.

    • Robin says:

      Sometimes Columbus gets the rain and we don’t, Biz. It all evens out eventually.

      I thought about using walnuts and probably should have for the second batch. Hopefully I can pick up more basil this weekend at the farmers market.

  2. Anna Surface says:

    My! That is a very pretty and appetizing collage! The gratin you described in labor intensive preparation sounds divine. I would love to try some vegetarian recipes and we’ve been thinking about eating more in vegetarian. I’ll be looking into that. The other day, our dinner consisted of the veggies from our garden and it was so good. The pesto with pine nuts sounds tasty. I really like pine nuts and haven’t had them in a long time. Gosh! I’m hungry! LOL Some rain and storms here. It has been cool and pleasant. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Anna: It’s easy to go vegetarian (or try some vegetarian recipes) these days. There are tons of great recipes on the internet and just as many cookbooks.

      I use pine nuts quite frequently. I like to toast them and throw them into salads or toss them with pasta or just eat them.

      We have had cool and pleasant weather here for most of the summer. Now it’s warm and humid. Bleh.

  3. Bo says:

    Pasta with pesto. Yummy!

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