I spent two days this weekend digging and playing around in a bed of chocolate. Chocolate mulch, actually. I was gardening. It still smelled delightful. It somewhat mitigated the hot, hard work of digging and planting. Of course, afterwards, my sore muscles really wanted a nice hot bath. So much so that as I was making dinner, I was a little jealous of the tomatoes in this sauce.
I mean, look at those little red balls of tastiness bobbing in a warm, simmering olive oil bath. That’s the life right there, surrounded by fragrant, relaxing herbs. Isn’t that just the life?
So this sauce is delicious and it only takes 20 minutes to pull together. It could work on pasta, pizza, poured over grilled meats and veggies or just dip your bread in it.
I used it to make zucchini pizza. Take a few zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh. Then pile on some toppings–I do cheese, a couple layers of pepperoni, the sauce and more cheese. Then put them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 350F for 30 minutes. Voilà. Crust-free, zucchini pizza with delicious homemade sauce.
Olive Oil Poached Tomato Sauce and Zucchini Pizza
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme sprigs
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano sprigs
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp red pepper flake
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Put everything into a saucepan. Bring the olive oil to a simmer and let it cook at that level for 20 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into a blender, pulling out any herb stems. For a chunky sauce, pulse a few times until the large pieces are broken up. For a smoother sauce, puree completely.
- Pour over...anything.
© Have Fork, Will Eat
I don’t know about where you are but it is super hot, humid and rainy in Michigan. Hot and humid enough that you don’t want to use the oven. Rainy enough that you can’t grill and your herb garden is exploding…in fact, I think my oregano plant may have eaten one of the neighborhood children.
So that’s when I turn to one of the greatest inventions of mankind: pizza delivery. Just kidding, I really mean the slowcooker. And I know that we often think of the slowcooker as a winter-meal-generator and mostly useful for heavy comfort food, but really, you get out of it what you put into it.
Literally. What goes into the slowcooker comes out of the slowcooker, only better and more moist. (I wrote “moister” there the first time, I did.) And it can be light and summery, and use up all those fresh herbs you’ve got in your yard….or the ones you found in the produce section of the grocery store. This dish packs a lot of bright, delicious flavor for what ends up being very little effort on your part. Chicken, pancetta, rosemary (though you could substitute thyme or fresh oregano). It takes about 10 minutes to put together—all you have to do is slice a few things and layer them in your slow cooker. Less time to cook, more time to fight off the mosquitos.
- 4 split chicken breasts (or about 3lbs)
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and whole
- 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2oz pancetta,diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 large sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (or 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine)
- Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Rub the chicken with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on top of the onions. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, pancetta, rosemary and lemon juice.
- Cook for 8 hours on low heat.
© Have Fork, Will Eat
This was a sad week. Our household was struck down by the plague. Well, a cold. But a vicious cold. You know, like one of those snarling, drippy cartoon germs you see in commercials. It ruined all my weekend plans of…doing nothing. I mean, sure I still did nothing but I didn’t enjoy it as much. I missed the beautiful 80-degree day that was Sunday. I missed two days of work after that. So did Josh–which is how you know this was a bad cold, because Josh rarely gets sick and even more rarely takes days off because he’s sick. And sadly, I missed all my good opportunities in the kitchen–there were no baguettes baked, no pretzels dipped in chocolate, nothing. Oh the humanity!
But yesterday, we were will enough to go back to work. And the little fish who controls the weather felt accommodating enough to make it sunny and warm, which was most appreciated. At some point during the day–and I blame Chase for this–the idea of grilling burgers started fluttering around in my head. Normally, I prefer ideas not flutter around in my brain. It tickles, for one thing, and the noise is a bit disturbing. But this idea was so appealing, I let it slide. After all, I’ve been itching (figuratively, I swear) to get my grill on for weeks now. Not to mention that grilling is a relatively easy, low-maintenance way to cook dinner and a good way for me to ease back into cooking while I recovered. Clearly summer was trying to break free from Cold Miser’s grasp. That made it my duty to embrace it with a good grilled burger, which, let’s be honest, is the epitome of summer itself. Continue reading