Dinner tonight was Pasta with Green Tomatoes, Ricotta, Citrus and Parmesan. Sides were a roasted vegetable salad (cabbage, carrots, red onions and white beans tossed with a little olive oil and roasted at 425 for 20min or so, then sprinkled with some celery salt) and a sweet & tangy shaved carrot salad with raisins and black sesame seeds. Oh, and there was homemade bread too. I didn’t take a picture of the bread. I thought that it was pretty, but salty. It tasted like salty chewy Italian Bread… I thought the recipe said it’d be light and crisp and delicious… *sad face*
I made up the carrot salad recipe, sorta based on one I kinda remember my friend Victoria making a gazillion years ago. It had rice wine vinegar and sesame seeds and a sprinkle of sugar. I added a dash of soy sauce for salt and umami, the raisins for sweetness and the black sesame seeds – well, to be honest I can’t figure out where I put the white ones. So Be It.
The tomatoes were harvested from our garden, the citrus was supposed to be Lemon, but I forgot that our babysitter had made her Famous Lemonade yesterday and used up our last 2 lemons. Instead, I subbed in what was on hand – lime zest. It…worked. Everyone seemed to like it. C had his study group over today, and I was feeding a crowd. Three of the four of them had seconds, two took home leftovers. That says something, right? C & I both thought it was fine…nothing really exciting though.
Babies, on the other hand, ate a QUART of strawberries, a handful of the roasted beans, two handfuls of plain pasta each, and split a slice of cheese toast. I sent the other slice of cheese toast home with one of C’s study-buddies. It seems quite popular, cheese toast. I’m not really sure why…. I toast whatever bread I have lying around, top with whatever cheese I can grab fastest, and then re-toast. Bread gets all crunchy and the cheese gets all melty. It’s a great fast meal – and one I know the babies will eat – but I’m flummoxed that everyone else seems to really like it too. Seriously. People ask for the stuff. Especially E. She – in her words – love love loves my cheese toast. *shrugging shoulders*
Pasta with Green Tomatoes, Ricotta, Citrus and Parmesan by Lynne Rosetto Kasper
Fresh Garlic to rub your bowl with
1 box of Pasta, cooked and drained
2 Green Tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 cup good Ricotta (Use more if you’d like, but start with 1/2 cup)
Grated Lemon Rind
Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated **aka Parmesan
1- Rub a serving bowl with fresh garlic.
2- Add hot, cooked and drained pasta, tossing it with tomato chunks, good-tasting ricotta, a little pasta water, grated lemon rind, a lot of black pepper and some Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Sweet and Tangy Carrot Salad By me, based on a recipe by Victoria Ross **Use this as a TEMPLATE to make up your own version
3-5 Carrots, peeled and then use a veggie peeler to keep making strips of carrots – use those strips for this salad
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons Sesame Seeds
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Raisins
1- Shave your carrots into strips using the veggie peeler.
2- Mix the liquids together and pour over carrot peels. Toss with raisins and taste. Need more tang? Sweet? Add a little of this and a little of that until it tastes right to you.
Homemade BanhMi Bread by A Bread A Day
Makes 3 baguettes
18 ounces (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided, plus extra as needed
5 ounces (1 cup) very fine rice flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (1 tablespoon kosher salt)
1 3/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, all of the rice flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the water and butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Switch to the dough hook, and continue mixing at low speed. Add enough of the remaining all-purpose flour until a moderately stiff dough forms; you may need more or less than the reserved 2 cup. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but not be too stiff. Increase the speed to medium-low, and continue kneading for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3. Transfer the dough to a large, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into three equal pieces. Shape each into an round ball, then into an oblong loaf shape. Cover again, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Lightly grease a large baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.
5. Working with one piece at a time, and keeping the other covered, gently press each piece into a flat oval. Starting with a long side, roll up into a long cylinder. Set aside, covered, while shaping the other piece.
6. Rolling underneath flat palms, or pulling gently as needed, lengthen each piece into a long, thin rope, about 18 to 20 inches long. Transfer carefully to the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in size. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450º F, and place another baking sheet or oven-safe pan on a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Or, if you have a baking stone, use it instead, heating it with the oven.
7. Using a sharp serrated knife or clean razor blade, make 3 or 4 gentle but decisive slashes in the top of each loaf at a 45º angle, evenly spaced. Don’t press into the dough, just let the weight and sharpness of the blade cut into the dough as you pull it across the surface. If the dough deflates, let it recover for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Spray or sprinkle the bread with water, and transfer the bread to the oven (or baking stone, if using). Bake for 5 minutes, spraying the dough with water every minute or two.
8. After 5 minutes, reduce the temperature to 400º F, and continue baking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until deeply golden brown and fully baked. An instant-read thermometer should register about 205º to 210º F when inserted into the center. Remove the bread to a wire rack to cool fully before slicing.