Andrew and I just returned from our three-week honeymoon in Italy. We ate very well (would you expect any less?) and I have lots to share with you about the delicious delicacies we sampled from the top of the boot to the bottom. From giant gnocchoni stuffed with ricotta to cannolis topped with pistachios, Italian food was delightful and inspired.
I can’t wait to share more with you in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a little something to hold you over:
When the too-short asparagus season hits New Jersey each spring, I’m always reminded of one of my favorite dishes from childhood. For me, asparagus is the defining ingredient in the ultimate comfort food: asparagus and rice.
My grandmother’s specialty, asparagus and rice was often enjoyed as a side dish. But now that Andrew and I eat so little meat, I’m always on the lookout for veggie-packed dishes that are filling enough to constitute a full dinner. This simple, fresh combination of asparagus, onion, garlic, cheese, and rice is the perfect May meal.
- 1 lb. asparagus, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked rice (white or brown)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, freshly grated
Cook rice. In a separate pan, heat oil. Saute garlic and onion in the oil until translucent. Add asparagus and cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Remove pan from heat. Stir in cooked rice and cheese. Makes two meal-sized servings or four side dish servings. Enjoy!
Did you know that scallions, also called green onions, are hydroponic? That means they can grow in water alone — without the help of soil. Try this technique to save on groceries — and exercise your green thumb:
Next time you use scallions in a recipe, keep the bottom stumps and roots intact. Sit them in about an inch of water in a place where they’ll get plenty of sunshine. As long as you change the water daily and the scallions get lots of light, you’ll see growth in a few days!
Remember back in 2010 when I wrote about Italian food-inspired clothing? Consider this the second installment.
The Etsy seller inediblejewelry is serving up food-focused accessories. Here are my favorites:
Not quite good enough to eat, but certainly good enough to wear.
Thanks to Young House Love for the head’s up!
It’s been too long! Between a busy work schedule and a mini-break to Washington this month, I’ve been sticking to old staples for dinner and not trying out too many new recipes.
But, inspired by some no-cook lasagna noodles in the pantry, I finally decided to make a recipe I’d been saving for months. This lasagna eschews tomato sauce and ricotta in favor of a creamy Romano cheese sauce. A hearty serving of white wine, plus super-flavorful artichokes, packs this dish with a delicious punch.
Adapted from Taste of Home:
- 1 pound sliced baby portobello mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 2 cups shredded Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 9 no-cook lasagna noodles
- 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
For the vegetable mixture, melt the butter in a large skillet. Toss in the mushrooms and saute until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the artichokes, wine, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until liquid is evaporated.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until the sauce is smooth. Then gradually add the milk. Bring the sauce to a boil and stir until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in the Romano and wine.
Spread a thin layer of sauce onto a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. On top, make three layers: three noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and the vegetable mixture. Top with left over mozzarella. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Serves 12.
I’ve been busy with work lately, so I haven’t been experimenting with many new recipes. But that doesn’t mean Italian food has been off my radar. Andrew and I are planning our honeymoon to Italy, so we’ve been reading guidebooks, scanning travel websites, and watching videos about all things Italian.
A few weeks ago, we came upon the TV series Jamie’s Great Italian Escape, which follows a summer of travel through Italy with British chef Jamie Oliver. The series is full of fantastic-looking food paired with dry Brit wit — and it even inspired us to go to Sicily. Most, if not all, of the series is available on YouTube.
Here’s the first 10 minutes of the first episode:
I made frozen yogurt today — on a whim.
It’s been spring-like here and I’d just gotten back from a walk around the neighborhood. The sudden craving for something sweet and creamy hit, but I had no ice cream fixings (heavy cream, milk, etc.).
I did have Greek yogurt.
I searched online for a frozen yogurt recipe made with nonfat Greek yogurt. It was a tougher mission than I thought. Most fro-yo recipes called for full-fat or 2 percent Greek yogurt.
Finally, I found this Raspberry Frozen Yogurt recipe on Yummly. It was perfect for me — I always sweeten my Greek yogurt with raspberries, so I had the key ingredients on hand. (The original recipe calls for sugar, but I prefer honey as a sweetener.) Below is my tweaked version of the recipe.
- 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 6 ounces frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup honey
Directions: Put all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. (If you’d like the ice cream to be seedless, you’ll have to strain the berries first.) Then transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker and process for about 10 minutes. Serves 2.