Broccolini

photo(3) Where I have been?

Broccolini is not exactly new or news-breaking, but for some reason it has escaped my ravenous appetite and hands all these years.  Well, Josie and I put a stop to that!

Fresh broccolini is all over my local farmer’s market and according to my Italian girlfriend, Cat, it’s one of the Italianist and tastiest veggies around.  I agree.

The vendor described the taste to me as “a cross between broccoli and asparagus.”  I agree (again.)  The easy-tasty-healthy recipe you are about to see could also be made with broccoli or asparagus but I made it with my new friend: broccolini.

Michelle’s Broccolini and Chicken Pasta

photo(4)

Ingredients: two bunches of fresh rough-chopped broccolini (approximately 2 1/2-3 cups), 2-4 fresh minced garlic cloves (I, of course, used 5), 5 tbsp. olive oil, 2-4 tbsp. butter (maybe), juice of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste, whatever pasta you like, left over diced cooked chicken.  Grated Parmesan cheese.

Directions: In a saute pan, heat oil, broccolini and garlic.  Toss, cover on med heat.  Toss again after 10 or so minutes and cover on med heat.  Let this go for about 25-30 minutes (depends on the size of the broccolini pieces.)  When greens are tender you are done.  Squeeze that lemon juice over top and inhale… oh my.  In separate pot make your pasta.  When cooked, drain pasta and mix it up with the broccolini.  Add some butter if you need a little more “yum” to coat your noodles.  You’re not making a sauce here, but you’ll want to get all the goodness to all the important corners of your dish.  Add diced chicken and top with Parmesan cheese.

Unsolicited Tips: Yes.  I know that sounds like a lot of oil and butter–but it will coat the entire dish including pasta so you’ll need more than just enough to cook veggies.  This is such a quick and satisfying summer din-din and a complete meal in one bowl.  Get outa’ hee-ya!

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Savory Late-Summer Tomato Pie

whole tomato pie

(Quick, before my internet crashes again!  I hate Charter Communication and I don’t care who knows it!)

OK.  So the without-a-doubt exquisite photo you see above actually started from another completely amazing photo you will now see below:

Didi's tomatoes! These are Didi-delivery tomatoes.

Didi has a patient (she’s a physical therapist) who has a hobby farm and he brought her these tomatoes which she shared with me.  Do I have some awesome girlfriends or what?

So to thank Didi I baked her (OK, yes, and myself) a tomato pie.  Didi called me, pie in mouth (it’s hard to stop once you start) to say that the pie rocked–which I already knew but it’s still fun to hear.

My mother is a gluten free girl and she breaks her routine for two foods I make: pina colada pancakes and this here tomato pie.

Yes.  It’s that good.

Michelle’s Late Summer Tomato Pie

Ingredients (most measurements are approximate): pie crust (see below), 2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1/3 cup chopped basil, 3-4 crushed garlic cloves, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup cubed bread or bread crumbs

Directions: pop your pie crust in the oven at 375 for 5-10 minutes while you prep everything else.  Then mix tomatoes, basil, garlic, half of the amount of each of the cheeses.  Place in crust.  Add bread crumbs, rest of both cheese to top of pie.  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Pie crust from scratch: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup butter, 4-5 tbsp. cold water.  And no, I do not make my crust from scratch.  Although I generally avoid prepared food items, the non-baker in me cannot reconcile the effort that goes into a pie crust that, when completed, tastes the same as a store bought one.  Sorry.  Just comin’ clean.

slice tomato pie

And now, if you’ll excuse me…