August 10, 2010

Simple food, simply cooked

Sometimes the most simple foods make the best meals.  Another visit to the farmer's market inspired me and sent me straight to my kitchen.

Eggplant, zucchini, green pepper, mushrooms, broccoli - organic and locally grown

Sauteed with onions and tomatoes....

Garlic basil linguine....

Put it all together, and you get pasta primavera! Don't forget the parmesan cheese!

I saw this leek and just had to have it.  Especially because it was only $1! Can I just mention how affordable the farmers market is?  I walk away from every stall with the sensation that I just got away with something.  I often ask "Is that all?" when told my armful of produce is $4.  
So there I am with a leek, and the only thing I could think of doing with it was turn it into potato leek soup.  I was determined to make the soup only with ingredients that were already in my kitchen.  Translation- I was too lazy to go to the store.  Luckily I had a few baby red potatoes and a carton of organic vegetable stock. The only additional ingredients that made it in this soup were olive oil, a touch of butter, salt and pepper.  Blend then eat.  Simple foods, cooked simply.    

Last time that I was home visiting, I stole a cookbook from my mother and it has changed my tomato sauce life.  There was one recipe for a quick tomato sauce.  In fact it wasn't so much a recipe but simply a recommendation on how to make tomato sauce.  Cut up tomatoes, sautee in olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper. That is it! I tried it once and have been hooked ever since. No more jars for me.   Look how simple it is.

I wanted to do something with the eggplant and zucchini so I sauteed them, topped them with the tomatoes, added fresh mozzarella and then put the whole thing in to bake.  I ate it with hearty croutons that were big enough to be considered crostini.  

Another favorite of mine is brown rice with lentils.  No really, its a favorite!  I cheated and used pre-cooked lentils and pre-cooked brown rice (thank you Trader Joe's!).  I like it with just a few tomatoes to give it tang and color, garlic and some cheese on top.   Some green on the side rounds out the dish nicely.  

I'm not going to lie, my favorite dessert is chocolate.  Chocolate anything.  But since this blog entry is about simple food, I decided to end it all with fresh fruit.  As nature intended....

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  1. Your eggplant and tomato dish reminds me of my mom's eggplant & tomato au gratin! I haven't had it in so long, I almost forgot about it. I'm definitely making it tomorrow!

  2. This entry makes me hungry! Makes cooking look so simple and yet, so delicious.

  3. All the food photos look so delicious. You're so lucky the food at the market is so cheap. I also go to the Saturday market up north. The fresh produce is lovely but not really cheap. Love your cooking hints