Quite a supper tonight. After a weekend away (and very little cooking on my part) I was ready to get creative in my kitchen again. Before we'd left for our trip, I preemptively whacked the basil way back to prevent it from flowering while we were gone. They look a little sad. BUT, I've got this mound of basil all bagged up in the fridge, so pesto-something was in order.
We were also gifted recently with some lovely summer squash, and I'd bought a bag of shiitake mushrooms from Mom and Dad. Now how to get all these foods to the table . . .
The pesto was pretty straight forward. I used this recipe (1 cup basil leaves, 1/4 cup walnuts, 2 garlic cloves, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon), whirring each ingredient separately in my mini-chopper and then stirring them all together with the oil and lemon juice. I added the Parmesan cheese right to the spaghetti when I stirred the pesto into it.
Next, mushrooms. I had some Stilton cheese leftover from a splurge purchase, so I combined that with some oatmeal, ground flax seed, and the mushroom stems (chopped fine) as a stuffing for the caps. Nice flavor, but a little dry.
And finally, the squash. This turned out to be my favorite dish of the meal, so I'm including the recipe (I actually measured all the ingredients this time!). Each bite was initially sweet, followed by the delicious burn of cayenne pepper.
Sweet Zingy Slaw
1 medium-sized summer squash
2 TBSP virgin olive oil
2 TBSP white vinegar
1 TBSP brown sugar
I tsp minced fresh dill
1 cayenne pepper, minced*
salt to taste (a few dashes for me)
Shred the summer squash and carrot into a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the veggies. That's all! The "*" is because this was quite spicy. I threw in the whole pepper, seeds and all. I suggest starting with maybe a 1/2 pepper or discarding the seeds if you don't like that much bite. Alternatively, you could probably leave the pepper out altogether and cut the brown sugar in half for a sweet/tangy vibe.