Simple and quick, I loved this mint pesto recipe from The Thin Chef. I can imagine a few ways to use it. Even the original concept, on pizza, sounds quite yummy and unusual. But the busy day I served this, a good coat of pesto on orzo-shaped pasta made the most sense. Nora was just learning to grasp slippery pasta. Next time, I'd love to try this on whole wheat pasta because it isn't as delicate as a tomato sauce. It can handle the extra grain of the heavy pasta.
I'm really excited about our plan to try at least one new thing a month. I think we're even a little ahead of the game. And it's good for the spirit to be a little ahead. And it gives me a cushion in case I lose track of time or something. Below are the new foods we have tried so far this year. Please feel free to make recommendations. And remember, the goal is to buy and cook something I haven't eaten or might have eaten out in order to broaden our horizons.
I was reading up on the qualities of spinach in The Full Plate Diet, when I learned that the term "a la Florentine" came from Catherine de Medici's love for spinach. This may not mean much to most people, but it hit a cool note with me as my brother- and sister-in-law met at an old Medici Villa, that has been turned into a college, where they both worked.
Quinoa a la Florentine
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1 pound fresh spinach, rinsed
1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely shredded
1/3 cup pine nuts, chopped and toasted
2 Campari Tomatoes, quartered
Sautee onions until soft in 1 teaspoon olive oil then add garlic to cook briefly. (Don't let the garlic brown.) Add the broth and allow to heat up. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Serve spinach over quinoa topped with pine nuts and parmesan. Garnish on four sides with tomatoes.
This has got to be one of our favorite restaurants in Orlando. The format is "family-style." Dishes are served from the middle of the table. It's a good thing we visit with other vegetarians. The restaurant is very good about special-request orders, including vegan and gluten-free.