Friday, July 29, 2011

Pleasant Surprise Recipe

Every now and then, I cook something that tastes far better than it sounds (or even smells!) like it will.

Tuesday's dinner was one of these.

1/2 large red onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 fairly large zucchini, cut into bite-sized slivers or matchsticks (should be fairly thin on at least one dimension)
2 small Japanese eggplants, cut into bite-sized slivers (as above)
about 15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters (if small) or equivalent (if large)
Enough olive oil for cooking (3 Tablespoons?)
1 tablespoon butter
chopped fresh basil, marjoram, and oregano (I used one stem each of oregano and marjoram, and about 10 large basil leaves)
pine nuts
feta cheese

I cooked the vegetables in batches so that they'd each get cooked thoroughly, and also so that the juice from the mushroom and tomatoes didn't change the cooking method from "stir-fry" into "braise."

While doing all of this, also cook a pound of rotini.

1) In wok or large frying pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions when oil is hot. Stirring frequently, book until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove from pan. Do not clean pan.
2) Add a little more oil and heat up again. This time, cook the zucchini until just turning brown. Stir frequently or the zucchini might stick. Remove zukes from pan (add them to the bowl with the onions), do not clean pan.
3) Add a little more oil and heat up again. This time, cook the eggplant until browned on both sides. Do not stir frequently or the eggplant will never properly brown. Only move them around to flip over each piece. Place eggplants into colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow eggplant to drain at least 20 minutes. Do not clean pan.
4) Add a little more oil and a tablespoon of butter. Cook mushrooms, stirring frequently, until just browning and soft. Add tomatoes and cook for one more minute, then dump in all other cooked vegetables and add the herbs. Stir together and allow to heat through. Serve over hot pasta with a handful of pine nuts and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

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