In Mike’s line of work, there are ups and downs – busy seasons and slow seasons – and the summer months are definitely busy. He’s in the peak of his busy season, meaning working almost 7 days a week, giving me a lot of down time. In other words, it’s busy season in the kitchen!
This past weekend, knowing Mike would have to work Saturday, I planned a me day. This typically involves Yoga or running, some sort of girly-thing (pedicure, eye brow waxing, haircut) paired with an hour or so flipping through Cooking Light, Pinterest or cookbooks to see what fun things I can cook.
I chose to make a roasted red pepper & tomato sauce that I could pour over grilled portobellos paired with a side of orzzo with homemade pesto. YUMMM!
First, to roast the red peppers and tomatoes. Suuuuuper easy. You slice them in half, rub them with a tad of olive oil, and put them in the over/toaster oven for about 20-35 minutes.
2-3 handfuls of fresh basil
2-6 small garlic cloves (more or less depending on your taste)
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
2 red peppers (home grown if you have them!)
3 small-medium tomatoes (homegrown if you have them!)
6 tablespoons of olive oil
4 portobello mushrooms, stems cut off
3-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Homemade pesto is an easy make too, especially if you have an abundance of basil. It’s such an amazing flavor, the fresh basil picked right from your windowsill or garden.
1. Pick about 2-3 handful of basil leaves, wash, set out to dry.
2. Put 2-4 garlic cloves into the food processor, along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and chop. Add pine nuts, chop. Add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, parmesan, then the basil leaves. Chop until pesto is creamy. Scrape out of food processor and set aside for cooked orzzo.
3.. Wash portobello caps, marinate in olive oil & balsamic and put in fridge for about 10 minutes – until goodness soaks in. Meanwhile, boil water for orzzo.
4. Put sliced peppers and tomatoes (rubbed in a pinch of olive oil) in oven at 400 for about 20 minutes. Peel off skin of peppers and put in food processor, along with 2 cloves of garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Blend.
5. Heat grill or grill pan to piping hot. Pull mushrooms out and grill on both sides for about 5 minutes.
6. Mix pesto with cooked orzzo. Top grilled mushrooms with the roasted red peppers. Enjoy!
Here’s another meal, similar to the ingredients in the above, just instead of blending the roasted red tomatoes into a sauce, I stacked them on the marinated mushroom/grilled mushrooms, then topped with homemade basil. I paired this meal with a lemon, garlic and olive oil orzzo. So many variations, so little time! That’s why, I like to work hard and cook hard.