Let me preface this post by admitting this: I am not from the southern United States. According to my Ancestry DNA, I am less than 7 percent Italian. But hey, I have this piece of paper (from a UC-accredited culinary school) hanging up on the wall of my bedroom that says that I am a pretty decent cook. I crave cheesy polenta grits, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to stand in front of my stove constantly stirring.
This is called using whatever you’ve got.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s pretty common to subscribe to some kind of produce delivery service. For us, it’s Imperfect Produce and Farmstead.
Although these delivery services make healthy eating a lot easier, occasionally we wind up with a bit of surplus near the end of the month.
Even if you don’t use one of these delivery services, you’ve got to admit that this is the season when vegetables shine. Corn, green beans and tomatoes are at their peak in the summer. It’s hard not to overdo it and buy too much when the prices on produce are so low.
In my freezer, I had about a cup of veggies on the verge of freezer burn, and a blob of tomato paste leftover from making pasta sauce so I threw those into this dish as well. Why not clean out the fridge and the freezer?
Other great substitutes or add-ins could be celery, cooked beans, sweet potatoes, or again, whatever you have!
Soup isn’t typically the first thing people crave in summer, but just trust me. This recipe walks the line of being light enough for summer and hearty enough to satisfy. It would pair awesomely with a salad, pasta dish or sandwich. Although my version is vegetarian, it could easily be vegan if you skip the sour cream garnish.
Let’s just be honest — this is the easiest (and most cost effective) way to make sure none of that summer veg goes to waste. Extra points if you save the root ends of your carrot, leek, garlic cloves and shallot in the freezer to make a homemade stock later!
Recently I posted about my diagnosis with fibromyalgia along with my new diet restrictions as my doctor and I diagnose my food allergies (aka-a low FODMAP diet.) As someone who has previously enjoyed a diet full of tangy, crusty ciabatta bread slathered with home made roasted garlic, you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that sadly, these foods are a no-no as I figure out what has been hurting my tummy.
So…what exactly have I been eating?
To some Americans, this might sound like an unlikely combination.
Many English folk are fond of this snack, generally served using Heinz baked beans on white bread.
Before you raise an eyebrow-let me tell you why this combination rocks.
Risotto is a Northern Italian rice dish, with a supremely rich, creamy consistency. This dish has a been given a bit of a bad reputation, because it has been deemed the diva of rice dishes. It is notorious for being a “time consuming” or “fussy” recipe to execute. Why?!
Risotto is actually quite easy. It only takes 30 minutes to make, and it doesn’t require any master chef-level kitchen skills outside of the ability to whisk. In fact, the add-ins can be purchased pre-chopped, which makes it even easier. When risotto is done the right way, it is totally worth the whisking time.
It is also a highly customizable dish, which is why it constitutes as a kitchen basic. It’s more of a method than a recipe, due to the versatility. It can be eaten as a side, or as a main meal, depending on what you’ve added to it. It can be the basis of a hearty vegetarian meal, or served on the side of a meaty dish. Risotto can be enjoyed all seasons of the year, because it takes on the flavor of any seasonal produce added to it.
I will be showing you basic step-by-step directions on how I create my own distinctively savory risotto, along with ideas and inspiration for additional add-ins.