Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where have I been?

I wish I could say that I took a last minute vacation to someplace tropical. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I actually started a new job a couple weeks ago (yay!), and the night before I started my first job Roscoe had a really horrible accident.

While out on a walk, we think he was bit by a snake....(yikes!) The first couple days were touch and go, and it was very hard not to fall apart at work. He's moving along on his road to recovery, but he's currently sporting a not-so-adorable accessory.

Due to his need for constant monitoring (he really wants to nibble the bandage off of his paw) I've taken a bit of a hiatus from the blog. I hope to have a couple posts up this week, but depending on how he's doing, and my new work schedule....posting will be a bit spotty until I get back into a routine.....

Please stick around! 

And to all my blog friends, I'm still reading you -- just a little too busy for thoughtful comments, I'll be back in the swing soon. Roscoe and I appreciate your understanding!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vegetarian Wheat Berry Risotto

My good friend Michelle came to visit me recently....and in addition to fun at the Max's Oyster Bar, and  The Great Lobster Adventure she brought gifts!!!

A plush egg for Roscoe

and this cookbook for me.

Sustainably Delicious: Making the World a Better Place, One Recipe at a Time

I really like the emphasis on seasonal ingredients in this cookbook. As I browsed through many recipes sounded tasty, but immediately one recipe caught my eye. This was for Summer Heirloom farro risotto. The original recipe can be found here, but my adaptation is below.

Wheat Berry Risotto
1 cup wheat berries
4 cups vegetable stock
1 large zuchinni, diced
1.5 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 can white beans, rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
pecorino romano
4 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Basil pesto for serving (optional, recipe below)

In a medium pot heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent. Once the onion is softened, add the wheat berries and stir for 1-2 minutes to toast the kernels and soak up some of the oil. Add the vegetable stock and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40-45 minutes, or until stock has mostly evaporated and wheat berries are soft - but still chewy.

Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add zuchinni and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and slightly softened. Add tomatoes and beans and cook through, stirring to incorporate. Season liberally with salt and pepper, remove from heat and place in large bowl.

Once the wheat berries are cooked through, add the mixture (there may be some liquid from the stock) to the zuchinni, tomatoes and beans. Stir together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into serving bowls and top with pecorino romano and basil pesto.

Basil Pesto
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 Tbs lemon zest
Juice of half a lemon
olive oil
pine nuts
pecorino romano
salt and pepper

Add all the ingredients except the cheese, olive oil, s&p to a food processor. Start the processor and drizzle the olive oil into the processor until the mixture is uniform. Stop a few times to scrape the bowl of the processor with a spatula to make sure that the basil is uniformly chopped.

Transfer the pesto to a bowl and add 1/4 cup of romano. Taste and season for salt and pepper.

I've been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our repertoire - which is difficult when you reside with a boy who has a healthy appetite and claims that veggie foods don't completely fill him up. My solution? Lots of beans....and add pesto. 

If pesto is involved, he will always be a happy eater.

This made enough for both of us, and leftovers for lunch the next day....for lunch I ate it cold. It could also work as a side dish for a barbecue.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Double Berry Pancakes

I absolutely love berries. Specifically I love fresh berries during the summer months. I can put them on cereal, bake them in pies, and just eat them out of hand. Those sun-kissed beauties are only available (i.e. affordable) this time of year, and since they're in season their flavor is the absolute best. 

If you've never picked them straight off the bush, get yourself to a U-Pick farm ASAP. There is nothing better than plucking a blueberry off a branch, warm from the sun, and popping it in your mouth! A few weekends ago, Rose's Berry Farm was picking both raspberries and blueberries. So Rafe and I picked our weight in both. We did our best to eat as much as we could (we froze gobs of them as well) so they would not spoil.

Normally I am a savory breakfast person, but with a kitchen overflowing with berries that were a mere 1/2 day old, I decided this was one of those rare times where I would relax my Sunday bacon and eggs breakfast mentality....and make pancakes.

Rafe was concerned that we had no 'mix'. But I knew that a quick consultation with Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything would have us well on our way to flapjacks in no time flat.

Topped with butter and real maple syrup - these pancakes were the perfect vessel to highlight our farm fresh haul.  

Oh berries, I will miss you come wintertime!