Alright, I really wanted to make sure that this blog didn’t turn into “This is what I had for dinner.” That being said…this is what I had for dinner:
Yeah. You’re glad I showed you. There are two cousins involved in the tale of this deliciously random dinner. The first: my cousin who came over to cook and eat with me. The second: my other cousin who gave me the cookbook that inspired this recipe. It’s a giantly overwhelming vegetarian cookbook with gorgeous pictures and nutritional facts about every morsel. It also lists the ingredients using the Metric system, because it’s just that hip. The recipe for spaghetti with tomatoes and basil involved a long and complicated process of boiling, roasting, and peeling plum tomatoes. But this was Sunday night. At 6pm. Some adjustments had to be made.
To simplify things, we sauteed lots of sliced onions and garlic in olive oil, then added two pints of bright, plump cherry tomatoes. These stewed away in their savory bath until they burst and became all kinds of soft and juicy. Then we just tossed it together with whole wheat spaghetti, sliced fresh basil, and plenty of parmesan cheese. And I do mean plenty. Apprarently parmesan cheese is the one thing my roommate and I buy every time we hit the store. I think we have six separate containers — all containing parmesan cheese in varying shapes, sizes, shards, shreds, and grates. But there is no such thing as too much cheese.
I had the mind to make Ina’s garlic bread, but was not in the mood to whip up the garlic infused oil that her recipe calls for. Clearly, Sunday laziness did not allow for this. So I halved a loaf of whole wheat ciabatta (this exists!) and smeared it with Brummel and Brown yogurt butter spread (healthy!) a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of garlic salt and basil. I sandwiched the two pieces together, wrapped it in foil and popped it in the oven. I call it Ina’s Abbreviated Garlic Bread.
The salad was the dark horse of the evening. I did not expect it to be so amazing! It came out of no where. We wanted a simple, fresh salad with few ingredients. At the store, we decided on fresh leaf spinach, green beans, feta cheese and dried cranberries. The lemon vinaigrette leftover from last week’s Food Group dinner made for the perfect accompaniment. And the pine nuts I found in the freezer, once toasted, took this salad to another level. To think, we almost mixed the pine nuts into the pasta, but their nutty crunch was the perfect addition to our salad. Crisis averted. This will definitely become the Sheffield House Salad.
Oh dear. What’s Sheffield, you ask? (You did ask, right?) It’s what we call our apartment. All great homes have names — Tara, Pemberley, our Brooklyn brownstone. It works.