Monday, August 18, 2014

Pasta and Broccoli [The Cookbook]

I had fun with this one for a variety of reasons.

Number one of which is, I love broccoli. Always have. Probably always will. I was a weird kid in my youth. Any stereotypical vegetable that your average American kid isn't supposed to like, I gobbled down with  joy. My other favorite green vegetable is brussel sprouts. Quite frankly, I can't get enough of either and this year, we tried to grow both in our garden.

Growing broccoli is a bit of a fraught experience though. It has to be picked at exactly the right time or it goes to flower and then is no longer quite as tasty. Then, it has to be eaten fairly soon as the amazing antioxidant qualities that broccoli has degrade quickly after the head has been picked. No fun. No fair.

Luckily, Bisnonna was on hand with a fun recipe to use up the surplus broccoli that we managed to collect. I have no memory of this recipe, but it is simply delicious, and clearly someone does because it managed to gain inclusion in the cookbook. Take my word for it.

Pasta and Broccoli
Via The Cookbook (as told by Zia Sandy)

Bisnonna Writes: Fry an onion and garlic in oil. Chop up your broccoli in small pieces, put it with your onion mixture and 1 c. water and let it cook down until tender. Take 1lb pasta broken in 3 inch pieces, cook in a separate pan, drain and put with the other mixture. Add 1/2 c. spaghetti sauce. Let it cook a little so that the flavors mingle.

Amy adds: Throw in a few dollops of ricotta cheese and mix well. It really adds a nice creamy element.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tabbouleh: Sicilian Style

There is a fair bit of Middle Eastern influence in Sicilian cuisine. It's most obvious in classics such as cassata, the use of couscous, and a fondness for apricots. This dish, which started as a way to use up an absurd amount of parsley from our garden, plays off those influences.

Sicilian Tabbouleh
inspired by Ina Garten with a lot of random additions by yours truly

[What You Need]
1 cup toasted wheat berries
3 cups water
2 tomatoes
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
1/2 cup roughly chopped mint
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup crushed pistachio
3 T. olive oil
3 T lemon juice

[What To Do]
  1. Boil wheat berries in 3 cups boiling water for ~1 hour. They should soak up all the water much like rice.
  2. Throw the pistachios in the blender if they're not yet crushed.
  3. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
It's that simple and it's a great dish for summer potlucks!