July 26, 2010

Oh hey blog... How've you been? Looking good, I see.

Clearly I've been slacking with the blog updates. As I know you've already noticed, I've changed some things up and this will now (or in a month from now) be a food, wine, and TRAVEL blog! I'll be jet setting to Europe for 4 weeks and taking another 25 hour flight to Australia to stay with friends for about 6 weeks. Life is rough.
Until I begin more serious travel talk, I'll leave you with some recent dishes popping out of my tiny yellow kitchen. Above is simply some juicy honeydew melon wrapped in tasty, salty, pork leg(prosciutto). If you've never tried this combination, you're missing out. The soft sweetness of the melon mixed with the salty cured pork will create a flavor much like that of unicorns dancing on your tongue. I know that doesn't make sense but seriously, if I were on my death bed tomorrow, this would be one of my last requests.
I also made this wonderful pasta dish with sweet roasted tomatoes a la Ina Garten with zucchini, shallots, spinach, and garlic.

Living in California, we're spoiled with amazing produce all the time but summer is the height of fresh and especially flavorful veggies. This pasta dish is an ode these homegrown California beauties(got to keep it local). This past weekend I bought a huge box of cherry tomatoes about the size of golf balls. If you've never roasted tomatoes in the oven before, I hope you're sitting down when you first try them. Roasting them in high heat condenses their sugars while leaving them caramelized on the outside and juicy on the inside. I roasted the zucchini on the same baking sheet as the tomatoes minus the sugar addition from the recipe.
Summer Vegetable Pasta
Cooked pasta of your choice
12 roasted cherry tomatoes (recipe follows)
3 oven roasted zucchini (follow same directions as roasted tomatoes minus the sugar)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste
In a large frying pan on medium heat add olive oil, shallots, and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent (you don't want either to brown). Next add the freshly cooked pasta, spinach, and roasted zucchini and tomatoes. Toss to combine and top with a bit of shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Tomatoes adapted from Ina Garten
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
4 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I totally forgot this)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme or 1/2 teaspoon of dried
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper over the tomatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. Serve warm or at room temperature.