Last week I recounted my disaster in the kitchen with chicken stir-fry. This week I will redeem myself with not one, but two, super easy recipes that are not only delicious, but good for you!
The first recipe is one of my favorites. Last week, Keetha and Larramie suggested roasted veggies, and yes ladies, I love them too. In fact, roasting is the only way a reluctant veggie eater like me can stand to eat things like brussels sprouts....hate them boiled, but love them roasted with garlic and olive oil.
The great thing about roasting is that you can really use anything you have on hand, which makes it a great way to clear out the vegetable drawer. In this case, I had a small bag of broccoli and cauliflower, beautiful cherry tomatoes, a small log of pepper coated goat cheese, and some extra virgin olive oil.
Combine all of the above in a oven-proof dish, sprinkle with the olive oil and roast at 400 F for twenty minutes or until the veggies are tender.
While the vegetables are roasting you can prepare this simple but tasty salad. It consists of cucumber, Greek yogurt, and a blend of Greek seasonings. I love this Greek seasoning blend because it has this wonderful contrast of savory seasonings with the fresh taste of mint.
To assemble the salad: slice the cucumber, add a dollop of yogurt, sprinkle on the seasoning and gently mix together.
What both of these recipes have in common is the simplicity of their ingredients, which allows the food to shine through, and is the key to most great recipes. Quality, fresh ingredients, cooked to bring out their flavor, not disguise it.
One of the most memorable meals I ever ate was a potato purchased from the farmer's market, baked and served with olive oil and salt and pepper. And that's when I love cooking the most, when it becomes about celebrating the food, not the cook, not the technique.
This week I've been unpacking the dozens of cookbooks I've collected over the years and I realize that I want pay more attention to cooking as a means to eat well, not fancy. My favorite cookbook authors wrote about that, Laurie Colwin, MFK Fisher, wrote beautifully about how a simple meal, prepared with care, could get one to sit up and pay attention, and later to remember that meal, where you were, who you were with.
I remember that as I prepared these dishes for our lunch, I thought about sharing them with all of you and wanted to do a good job and hoped the photos would turn out. I remember that this became our lunch, it was beautiful sunny day, and Mom and I enjoyed the meal very much.