28 September 2008

three course vegetarian

Wednesdays often see me cooking something more extravagant than usual since I have at least four guests. A few weeks ago I put together this three course vegetarian option. There are a few short cuts, namely store-bought gnocchi, but overall it plated well and served up a good balance of flavors. The salad is a mainstay of mine, held together by a classic dressing that we'll break down in a future post. The food photography will be an ongoing learning process.

i: curried beans with tomato

  • 3 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 large can of tomatoes
  • cumin, paprika, garlic salt to taste
  1. simmer garlic in olive oil
  2. slice and simmer shallots, then red peppers
  3. drain and wash beans, add to pan
  4. add seasonings, allow beans to "dry" a bit
  5. add tomatoes, finish seasoning and serve
ii: gnocchi with pesto & spinach

  • 1 package of trader joe's gnocchi (a steal at $1.99)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • two tablespoons of pesto
  • butter to taste
  1. boil a big pot of water
  2. add gnocchi; they're pre-cooked, so they'll rise in 5 minutes and be cooked in ten
  3. drain
  4. add butter to frying pan
  5. add spinach with a splash of water, then pesto at low heat
  6. when the pesto and butter have melted, add the gnocchi
  7. when the gnocchi seems to be coated in spinachy/butter goodess, remove & serve

iii: signature salad, variation one

  • a significant amount of baby spinach
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 spring onions
  • a handful of raw sunflower seeds
  • a handful of raw sesame seeds
  • a block of feta
  • simple vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, lemon & salt/pepper)
  1. wash spinach, put in serving bowl
  2. cut red onion in generous strips, put in bowl
  3. dice red pepper & spring onions finely, put in bowl
  4. cut in feta into cubes of desired size
  5. add seeds & dressing
  6. toss & serve

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