Hi all, Mod R again. Don’t worry, House Andrews are fine, just deep in the writing cave for Sweep of the Heart, so I get to entertain and make a post about my favourite topic: food!
Since the 2020s are determined to go down in history as The Roaring Whatthefucks, to borrow a Bug-ism, and our collective stress is on the rise, life’s simple pleasures like reading a good book and eating a good meal have become more important than ever.
Food is my love language. You know how people say someone is either a Lover or a Fighter? Well, I’m an Eater! And a food explorer: my favourite dish is always the one I haven’t tried yet, which does mean I sometimes end up on the part of the culinary map where dragons be.
Today, however, I’m sharing trendy recipes of (hopefully) the same yumminess level Ilona has accustoms us all on the blog!
This takes a little trust, but if you’re willing to take the leap, you will be met with great rewards. As our culinary overlord Orro well knows, there is nowhere to hide with the humble egg and that’s where true mastery shines.
The concept is simple enough: instead of cooking oil for frying eggs, use pesto! I’ve also tried it with omelette, both work deliciously.
About ¼ cup of pesto or 2 very heaped tablespoons spread on the bottom of your pan. Heat up the pesto, crack 2 eggs, and sprinkle with your usual seasonings. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, then put a lid on and make them as runny or cooked as you usually do. Mr Mod R is Italian so I put this on toast spread with ricotta, but avocado toast or plain bread also works wonders. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good here!
As for the pesto, it can be your regular basil pesto, a sundried tomatoes pesto, or my favourite: home made wild garlic pesto. About 6 cups of wild garlic (or 200 grams bunch), 3/4 cup of raw almonds or pine nuts, 1/2 cup of parmesan, a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of olive oil and optionally the juice of half a lemon. I’m a Lemon Girl, everything is more balanced with acidity for me, but make it your own.
Fare la scarpetta might not be the done thing, but I assure you even Count Sagredo would do this in private if presented with pesto eggs for breakfast hehe.
Green Goddess Salad (credit BakedByMelissa)
Lol, got all that? No worries, me neither the first time around, but breaking the speed of light is not actually necessary for making this salad hehe.
This recipe makes enough for 4 adults, or 2 adults and leftovers- because cabbage is sturdier than lettuce, it doesn’t go all flollopy in the fridge and even people with wilted texture aversion can enjoy it on the second day.
Salad Ingredients: 1 small head of cabbage, 1 large cucumber (what I believe is called English cucumber in the US) or 3-4 smaller garden cucumbers, 1/4 cup of chives, 4-5 green/spring onions.
Dressing Ingredients: 1 cup of basil, 1 cup of spinach, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 small shallot (or onion), juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of nuts (original recipe calls for cashews and walnuts, but pine nuts or almonds work too if walnuts give you issues), 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.
Chop your salad ingredients by whatever tool you prefer into relatively small pieces, as the main method for eating this is scooping with tortilla chip. Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender and blitz until liquid consistency, then mix in a large bowl.
Is it a replacement for guac? Truthfully, no- it’s a different beast altogether. But, especially with the avocado shortages, it’s a good idea to have in your back pocket. The main revelation was adding nutritional yeast to salad dressing- it’s delicious and slightly parmesan-y and I’ve been doing it to other salads ever since.
Baked Feta Pasta
I would call this *the* viral recipe during the main leg of the pandemic, to the point where stores were out of Feta cheese because so many people were trying it. Its origins are lost in the liminal timespace that was 2020, but as far as I can dig, credit goes to this Finish blogger.
Ingredients: 4 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 block/7 oz of Feta cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3-4 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed), 7-8 basil leaves, chilli flakes to taste, black pepper. 10 oz of dry pasta, cooked separately* until al dente.
Crowd the tomatoes around the block of Feta in a smaller baking dish than you think you need, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle your seasonings, then bake for about 30 minutes in a 400F oven, until the tomatoes turn jammy and the Feta is golden.
The OG recipe puts the tomatoes with their vines still on, and adds the basil and the garlic in the beginning, then kicks up the temperature for the last 10 minutes. You do you, but I found that burns both the aromatics and I don’t like stems in my sauce ::shrug::. I also found I didn’t need the extra salt.
I only add the crushed garlic and the basil once the my roasting tray is out of the oven and let the residual heat cook them, whilst I mix everything together. Then add the pasta, with a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water if you desire a more emulsified texture.
*Please, for the love of the Italian Grandmother Collective, cook pasta separately! I, too, suffer from Thick Thighs Thin Patience syndrome, but one pot pasta dishes are not worth the time save.