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Big Pan of Vegetables

One possible dish to make while getting existential (see previous post): the big pan of late-summer vegetables. Think of it like Ratatouille, but less red. A symphony of green and orange and pale yellow. A way to use up some of the summer produce in danger of rotting away in your fridge (U.S. throws away 40% of food).

The dance steps (improvise as needed, this is a very loose rhythm): Sweat some chopped onion in olive oil, then let one small eggplant, cubed or sliced, join in, plus one small green chili (not a jalapeno but you could use one). Further add, a clove of garlic or more, if it suits you, and several smallish peppers – green mostly but also light green, and with a hint of red. Or use all red peppers if you like. The peppers should be chopped into small squares. Keep cooking everything over medium heat, salt as needed. Toss in some Carolina Gold tomatoes (2), basil (I had Thai basil to use up), or other herbs. For example, I added dried Herb de Provence later, so it’s up to you. Also, some sherry, to give you some liquid, along with the tomato juice. Keep cooking over medium heat or lower so that all veggies mellow together. Salt to taste and add crumbled goat cheese, generously. Serve over rice.

Cooking from the Pantry

Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

Some days you end up shopping from your own kitchen, striving to use everything still hiding in your cupboards. Like, for example, dried porcini (pricey) with an upcoming expiration date that have been languishing on the shelf for over 6 months. Continue reading

Making Flavors Work

Inspired by the Flavor Bible, a great guide to flavors, tastes, and how to combine different ingredients that I acquired not too long ago, I took another run at sage pasta. In the past, I’ve felt I haven’t gotten the full sage flavor I should get from the simple dish of pasta with sage and butter. The Flavor Bible reminded me what else works with sage, and so I built this dish. Continue reading