I am GREATLY relieved to be able to report that I have my cooking mojo back! This week everything I cooked turned out well. In fact better than well. . . it was all downright good!
In the fridge there were navy beans from last week, a head of lettuce and a big cucumber that we had gotten at Farmer’s Market. It was obviously a Greek salad day.
We are now officially in summer and menus are guided by what I pick on any given more. This morning I had LOTS of basil that was either going to get harvested or bolt. I harvested.
I stood and inhaled the incredible aroma and thought “Pesto!”. I had visions of pesto and spaghetti which was fine, but what about the stuff in the basket? And then it came to me:
Veggies au Pistou (a fancy French name for Veggie Stew with Pasta and Pesto)
- Make the Pesto in the food processor by blending together until smooth:
- 1 cup basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- squeeze of lemon
- Sauté together in a large frying pan or Dutch Oven
- 1 large onion or in my case 4 small onions
- 4 cubed crookneck squash (about 2 cups of veggies)
- OPTIONAL – add other veggies you have available like carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans
- garlic to taste
- 1/4 cup mirepoix
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
- When the onions are clear add
- 2 cups navy beans
- 2 cups fresh cut tomatoes
- Stir in 2 cups Spinachand cook till wilted
- OPTIONAL – use other greens like kale, cabbage leaves or beet greens in combination or instead of spinach although I would be careful with too much cabbage family stuff they can be overpowering
- Add to the pot
- 1/4 c pesto from above (see note below about what to do with what is left)
- 2 cups of water This varies widely based on the combination of the veggies basically you need to cover everything in the pot with water and then add about 2 inches. You can also add as it begins to cook
- Add to taste: salt, pepper and possibly a squeeze of lemon
- 1/2-3/4 cup dried spaghetti or vermicelli broken into 2 1/2 – 3 inch lengths
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 minutes
- Turn heat to low and continue cooking 8-12 minutes until spaghetti is done
This still leaves you with a lot of pesto sauce. I took a good sized glob of it and threw it into the Greek Salad as dressing; the rest I froze for another day. It keeps in the freezer for about four months.
Entire prep time, including harvesting veggies, cleaning them, taking pictures and cooking was about 35 minutes.
Oh yeah, while the Veggies au Pistou was cooking we threw together the Greek Salad: lettuce, cucumbers, onion tops, tomatoes, kalamata olives, a handful of pine nuts.
Add a slice of fresh baked bread and it this simple meal becomes one fit for a king (and/or queen)!