I have a kitchen again (we’re sharing more on that front SOON, I swear) and boy, am I COOKING IN IT. I can’t tell you the freedom and joy it brings me to know where everything is, and it feels so nice to not have to rinse our dishes off with a garden hose anymore.
It was difficult to narrow down what dishes to write about in this month’s cooking roundup, but I have some great basic recipes here that will help make the most out of the lingering summer bounty you might have left in your fridge.
Fridge Clean Out Pasta (shown above)
Our crisper was overflowing with veggies all on the brink of going bad. The zucchinis were looking nearly suspect and I knew I had to do something with them on a recent Monday night.
I decided to sweat little moon-shaped slices of them in garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Next I added some cherry tomatoes, cooking them until they burst. Then I added cooked pasta right on top and grated in a TON of parmesan cheese. I dotted the dish was whole leaves of basil, lots of ground pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and Maldon salt. The next night, I added roast salmon to my leftovers.
This month I learned how to properly cook beans. Thanks to Tamar Adler‘s lesson (and beautiful prose), I now feel called to be the type of person who makes their own beans and broth weekly, both of which I have successfully done without much effort this past month.
What I like most about Tamar’s approach to cooking beans is you can use what you have on hand. The idea is more or less about getting the seasoning right so both the beans and the bean broth can play a central (and delicious) role in your meals for days to come.
For an excerpt on how to cook beans according to Tamar Adler, check out this post, or simply buy Tamar’s book and turn to page 107.
Camembert Date Appetizer
If I could select one food ingredient to eat over and over again, it would be Camembert. Something about the tanginess and creaminess and all around pungent flavor of this cheese speaks to my soul. I’d pass cheesecake any day for this stuff.
So when I saw Rebekah Peppler’s recipe for baking Camembert with dates and smearing it on bread, I had to try it. And let me tell you, the final result does not disappoint.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
One day recently, I realized I had more cherry tomatoes than I knew what to do with, so I did a quick Google search for sauces you could make without having to peel each tomato! I used the one linked below and it was a quick way to enjoy fresh tomato sauce with a few meals throughout the week.
Spicy Charred Green Beans With Garlic and Toasted Almonds
This is another great Adler recipe from An Everlasting Meal. We had way too many green beans on hand this month and I was craving something spicy and savory but not too heavy. These fit the bill. They remind me of something you would get at a Chinese restaurant, and that’s exactly the way Adler designed it. This recipe would bring the most out of a can of green beans but it tasted glorious when using fresh ones.
This recipe is a little peek into the magic of this book:
Spicy Green Beans by Tamar Adler
One 15-ounce can whole green beans
1 clove garlic
½ cup almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon dried chile flakes
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
Drain and rinse the beans. In a food processor or with a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic into a paste, then pound the almonds in with it. This doesn’t need to be smooth, and there can be different sized pieces of nuts and garlic.
Head the oil to smoking in a wok or big frying pan. Add the beans in a single layer. Let them cook over high heat, without turning, for 30 to 60 seconds, until you see a char begin to creep up the sides. Use a sharp spoon or spatula to firmly turn the beans once. Add the chile flakes. Keep the beans in a single layer and move as little as possible.
When their second sides have browned and begun to blister, turn off the heat and add the nuts and garlic. Mix it through, still being frugal with your movement, then add vinegar, sprinkling it over the surface. Mix it through once and taste for salt.
Serve on hot rice.
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - September 27, 2021
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
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