Monday Dinner: Garden Veggies and Good China

This summer, Mark and I planted a vegetable garden in his yard this year. (I call it the farm, because it is probably as close to farming as I will ever get, though Mark corrects me that it is a garden.) With an abundance of cherry tomatoes, the first red peppers and a renewed desire to play in the kitchen, I decided to create a pasta dish for dinner, letting the carbs not only fuel me for my next workout, but soothe my muscles still aching a bit from Sunday’s 18-mile run. I stopped at Wegmans and picked up an ear of local corn and used vinegar and olive oil from Prima Oliva in Hamburg, N.Y. Here’s the details:

Fresh veggies, local and homegrown, ready for dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat farfalle pasta
  • 1 ear of corn kernels
  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (rinsed)
  • vegetable stock
  • Olive Oil
  • Peach Balsamic Vinegar
  • 4-5 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled feta
  • Pepper

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet heat a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add corn, tomatoes, pepper and garbanzo beans. Stir frequently. Add about a quarter cup of stock and turn heat up to medium high. Allow most of the liquid to absorb. Add the scallion then the cooked pasta. Heat through. Add another teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of peach balsamic vinegar. Stir to coat the pasta. Top with basil, feta cheese and fresh-ground pepper.

A tasty dinner served up on a special dinner plate.

It’s not a particularly fancy dish, but one I really liked, especially on a warm summer evening. From a health standpoint, it does a good job of using protein complements as the garbanzos and corn combine to form a complete protein (as best as I understand protein complements). The feta adds a nice touch with a strong flavor and some extra sodium (good for me and my sweaty ways on these humid days). I am still new to using flavored olive oils and vinegars, but I like the light, bright kick of the peach balsamic. No one will be giving me a Food Network TV show (unless it features me along with my dad seeing just how quickly we can eat, because seriously, it’s a combination of fascinating and disgusting how quickly we can put food away) but I do enjoy cooking, even if I’m the only one who will enjoy it.

I decided to eat my dinner off china given to me by my Aunt Mary. I’m not exactly sure if there is any family significance to the dishes, but they have significance to me, because they come from her. And I have always adored my Aunt Mary. So this particular day, I didn’t wait for a special occasion to break out the good china. Because every day should feature some creativity and celebration.

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