Me and mini me have been enjoying every sprouting food market within a 60 mile radius this season and I love it. To me, nothing heals the mind better than love and food. Seeing the pride of growers, cultivators, creators and area cooks inspires me. My life recently has been full of a lot of new colors, flavors and aromas. All of this has reawakened stalled dreams and brought new life even into my kitchen. What better way to celebrate this heightened sense of awareness and passion than with a simple, bright meal.
Italians know how to do a Spring fling the right way. But ours have staying power and substance. And they look damn good too. When Mother Nature starts opening its blooms.. traditional foods start to burst with greens and yellows.
Springs renewal brings a reminder of bathing suit season. Foods need to lighten up to accommodate, but flavor does not. Fire roasting springs veggies brings out their natural sweetness. So this week we made my own take on a primavera…lightened up.
Me and mini me fire-roasted 4 yellow and gold tomatoes, 2 sweet peppers, 5 cloves of garlic ( just crushed) with olive oil and sea salt at 425 until they start to burned just a bit.. About 15 minutes.
In another pan, I roasted some broccoli rabe, red onion, asparagus, and a diced zucchini.. And roasted them for only about 7 minutes.
Cooking the greens at such a high temperature brings out their natural sugars, but you cannot over do them.
I took the two pans and put the in a deep bowl of whole grain rigatoni..you can also use a whole grain couscous. The vegetables work well over grilled chicken also.
While the pasta is still hot, I added 3 tablespoons of a very good balsamic vinegar (If you can find something from Modena…you are in!) 1/2 cup shredded fontina, and 5 basil leaves torn up. Make sure to mix the juices from the vegetables well to distribute evenly. This is an easy light Spring dish that I paired with some lemoncello. Perfect. And easy. All souls were satisfied and smiling!
Unfortunately Italy is far from my current geographical stomping grounds. When I feel like bringing Tuscany and its colors, tastes, smells, sounds into my little haven… I retreat to the kitchen.
Me and mini me have had a long week. The weather has been frightful but fun, and we needed a few dishes that could keep us going strong. What better way than my version of Tuscan spring in a kale-sausage stew?
There is no other star brighter than the nutritional powerhouse of kale. It’s bright green hue showcases its might– low in calories, high in fiber, iron, vitamins A, C, E and K, an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid! What better base for my culinary trip back to Italia !
Me and mini me started by sautéing a basic base of four minced cloves of garlic and half of a red onion in olive oil. Then we put in 5-7 chopped ripe roma tomatoes. Once the garlic and onion were translucent I added sea salt and thyme. We added 6 links of a turkey sausage ( be mindful that some alternatives to pork sausage have a lot of salt..buy fresh if possible..we lucked out and went to a newly discovered local butcher).
Crumble the sausage in the pan and add vegetable stock. Keep the heat on low to medium and add a pound of tri-color tortellini and as much kale as you can handle! (Make sure to clean the kale well and chop it so it is palatable).
Add 5-7 fresh chopped basil leaves, pepper to taste and 1/2 cup of
Romano cheese. The colors and tastes are reminiscent of the spring greens of Italy’s countryside. Pair it with a nice glass of wine and forget…or remember…
whichever is more pleasant!
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Purveying hybrid and dozens of apple varietals was a daunting but fun task. We got home and paired cameo and jonagold apples with a lavender goat cheese and a strawberry basil jam for a final taste test…. And found the perfect apple for our apple raspberry tart. Cancer and heart health fighting agents in our jonagold apples has a unique love affair with the antioxidant rich raspberry. The balance of sweet and tart, is very much like the balance of male and female ego. Together, it is a beautiful, overflowing, dynamic enlightenment. We will post more photos and most of our recipe tonight!
From her first kick in the womb, me and mini me shared a love for all things delish and an inseparable bond! We have grown our kitchen hobby into a lifestyle of love, creativity and healthy habits. She has taught me more than I have taught her. I will post more about our adventures together later but…. Here are some introductory pictures behind the scenes. This week, me and mini me are going Gaelic-guinea with our stuffed cabbage. It’s an Italian twist on this childhood favorite. Most don’t know that cabbage has a huge skin benefits and can diminish eczema, large amounts of vitamin k and a helping of antioxidants. Next stop we will hunt for apples and bake them with steel oats and cinnamon for another sweet treat with benefits! We have a weekend of recipes and fun to share!