Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Easy Peasy

A while ago, I bought Colleen Patrick Goudreu's newest cookbook The Vegan Table. Right near the beginning, is a recipe for Spring Vegetable Risotto. I knew I had to make it. I patiently waited until asparagus was in season, got all of the other ingredients needed and got stirring.


I'm still a bit of a novice when it comes to making risotto, but once I got the first few tries under my belt, I'm no longer intimidated. Despite what one may think, in the end, it is pretty easy-peasy. Jim is always standing by the ready for when I need him to take over periodic stirring duties while I prepare other things for dinner.

Doesn't this look absolutely delicious!? It made so much that we had it for 2 nights and I still put a container in the freezer. Can you freeze risotto? I guess I'll find out.

With all the fresh local produce available, I like to make simple dishes where the flavours really shine through. This one is so ridiculously easy.

Pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, Asiago cheese...mmmmm. There is hardly any cooking involved in this one. I found the recipe on line somewhere, but did print it out, so I'll include it at the end of this post.

Speaking of ridiculously easy, last night I made Zoe and Andy's Sesame Tofu from The Garden of Vegan.

I'm positive I've blogged about this before because it's a snap to make and it's so tasty. 5 ingredients including the tofu, probably 15 minutes of prep and cook time total and it's done!

I served it with some fresh Ontario cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and sliced carrots that I just saute├ęd/stir-fried with some olive oil, onions, garlic, salt & pepper. Delicious!

ROASTED CHERRY TOMATO PASTA WITH SPINACH

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup balsamic vinegar*
2 tbsp. olive oil*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. each salt & pepper (I halved this)
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 pkg. spaghetti (or enough to serve 4-6 people)
½ cup Asiago cheese, shredded
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Toasted pine nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread tomatoes on a foil-lined or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast tomatoes for 20-30 minutes or until shrivelled and lightly browned.

Scrape the tomatoes and juices into a large bowl. Add the spinach. (At this point, I put a large plate over the bowl to help steam the spinach and wilt it a bit).

Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Toss pasta with the spinach, roasted tomatoes, Asiago cheese and basil. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if using. (I don’t like pine nuts, so I left them out). Serve with additional cheese on the side.

*The first time I made this, I found the pasta to be a bit too dry. The second time around I used 6 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp. olive oil. I found that to be better.

2 comments:

dreaminitvegan said...

Wow! Beautiful food. The risotto and pasta scream summer!

My family are huge risotto fans and although it's time consuming, it's worth it. I'm sure you could freeze it.

Love the Vegan Table Cookbook.

Maija Haavisto said...

I love The Vegan Table, but there is no need for risotto to be time-consuming! You can make it in the microwave, without stirring, and it will be just as good as on the stove. Yes, really.