On Thursday night I had Friday night’s dinner all planned out in my head. A friend of mine was going to bring in a bunch of basil from his garden for me and I was going to take it home and make fresh pesto. I already had a pizza dough ready, and I was excited to make a pesto pizza with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. I was so ready for this dinner.
On Thursday night it rained. On Friday morning it rained a lot more. When I saw my friend on Friday he immediately told me that he was not able to get into his garden to get the basil. The garden was pure mud due to all of the rain – but it is probably good for the crops. I am super excited for some homegrown eggplant later this summer! I totally understood about the basil – but now I was stuck and wondering what to make for dinner on Friday night.
I asked another friend what I should make for dinner. I really wanted to use some fresh summery ingredients for dinner – that was the one thing that was important to me. I am so glad I asked my friend Jamie, because she told me about the most amazing meal and I never would have thought about making it without her introducing it to me. You all know how much I love ratatouille. Well, Friday I was introduced to PISTO which is the Spanish version of ratatouille. It is simple and amazing.
I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up the ingredients. Zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, a couple of summer squash and I was done. Oh, I totally picked up some Whole Foods animal crackers because they are the best with Nutella. (Don’t try it if you don’t want to be addicted.)
I got home and got to chopping all of my fresh (and mostly grown in Massachusetts) produce. I finally got around to snapping a photo once I had everything in the pan.
The recipe I used was the one that Jamie emailed to me, from the New York Times. Do you realize what an asset the New York Times is when it comes to cooking? This past week I spent an hour with my NY Times cookbook (the thing is massive!!) and flagged several recipes that I will be making in cooler weather. Thankfully today I also found some great recipes that are more appropriate for the hot month of August. I’ll be introducing you to them soon – so stay tuned!
Pisto Manchego with Eggs was the Times recipe. You can find it here. They also have a beautiful picture of their pisto – I love this photograph! I am definitely going to get more into the art of food photography this year. A lot of times when I am cooking, I am pressed for time and the photography comes second. A lot of times it is simply not pretty. But one of my goals in the next couple of months is to use my camera more than my phone and come up with some more stunning photographs. We shall see if that is even possible.
I cooked the pisto down for the 35 minutes the recipe called for. I’ll be honest, I was not really able to squish the zucchini and squash with the back of my wooden spoon… but it was 9 o’clock on Friday night and I was hungry. So I cracked the eggs, and covered the pan and let the eggs cook.
It really looked good and tasted amazing when I gave it a try. (I always taste continuously while I cook.) During the process of cooking I added some paprika and cumin, but not much. The eggs really reminded me of Spain. When I was in Spain in high school, I distinctly remember ordering a hamburger and I was shocked when I bit into it to find a fried egg on top of my hamburger! I was shocked and back then I was not a fan of eggs. Thankfully I now like eggs a lot, and I really liked the final dish that I created for dinner last night:
I added freshly grated parmesan cheese (from Italy) and freshly chopped basil from our basil plant that sits in our kitchen window.
This dish is something that you have to try. Make it at home! Get your chef’s knife out and chop up some vegetables. Throw some olive oil in a pan and cook them. Don’t be afraid to seed the tomatoes. This pisto really pops some amazingly fresh flavors and I can’t wait to taste it again.
Happy cooking, readers! I’ll see you again with a new cooking experience soon.