When you grow your own vegetables you need, I guess, a range of recipes for the produce. I mean, take zucchini as an example. The plants start producing and suddenly you have heaps of the vegetable. No point throwing up your hands in horror & wondering what on earth to do with them (as I’ve seen more than one person do … no names!). You can always slice and sauté in olive oil (or butter, depending on your cholesterol levels), throwing in sliced mushroom, or chopped tomato, for variety. Great as a side dish, but that’s not always what you want. So tonight, coming home to a fairly bare pantry too, it must be said, I fell back on an old favourite. Zucchini pesto pasta, based on a recipe card I once picked up in the Mediterranean Food Warehouse in Newtown.
Basically, while cooking the pasta (I favour spirals for this dish), sauté the zucchini cut into sticks in olive oil. Drain the pasta, put it back in the pot & add the cooked zucchini; mix a generous dollop of pesto and a bit of butter (or drizzled olive oil) through the lot. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, grate parmesan & grind fresh black pepper over, mix these through and serve. Simple & tasty, but do use a decent pesto. All I had in the house tonight was a gloppy, muddy-coloured Dolmio basil pesto … not ideal … but fortunately I have fresh basil growing on the kitchen bench so chopped some of that and added as well. That helped.
And so, with a salad of freshly picked mesclun leaves, the garden certainly served me well tonight. But tomorrow I might have to go shopping!