Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reduce Reuse Recycle?

I just couldn't throw out the cooking liquid from out mussels the other day. It was so tasty and seemed like a fast track to a future dinner. Well tonight was the night. I came peeling in the door late and really hungry --- no time for lunch today. I grabbed the rice cooker and starting it going using my leftover mussel cooking liquid instead of water and tossing in a few roasted tomatoes for deeper flavor. I had a half container of shrimp ceviche left over and drained out the shrimp to add into the cooker to heat through when the rice was finished. Meanwhile I started on some side dishes -- just because I could.
I've been saving this salad recipe for years now. Not sure why it took me so long, but today I had all the ingredients in the fridge waiting to be eaten. Basically it's cubed cantaloupe, chopped salami, goat cheese, chopped chives from our front garden, olive oil, and white wine vinegar (I used white balsamic). An update on prosciutto and melon and a really great make ahead salad for a party. I'll be making this again soon, maybe with a nice sharp pecorino.
This dish combined my two favorite things -- showing off home grown produce and using up leftovers. I still had a little pesto sauce from that Mozza Caprese. Not too long ago I read about a simple vegetable preparation with sauce verte -- a caper tinged variation on pesto, and figured it was a perfect showcase our home grown squash and beans. I sliced the beans into 1 inch lengths and the squash into half inch (about) slices and tossed them in a pan with some olive oil to sauté for just a few minutes until coated in oil. I added 1/4 cup of water and covered the pan to cook for about 4 minutes until the veggies were crisp tender. I uncovered the pan and cooked for a minute or tow more, mixed in the pesto sauce and a handful of chopped parsley and brought this last dish to the table.
A note from the garden: This year, along with the usual Romanos and some purple limas, I am growing Dragon Langerie or Dragon's Tongue wax beans. It's my first time trying this Dutch heirloom variety but I am already planning a full crop next year. These creamy yellow wax beans have sketchy purple stripes and are tasty fresh from the garden as a snap bean or later when the stripes turn red as a shell bean, if you can wait that long. The yield from these busg habit, easy to grow plants is just amazing, we will have plenty of beans all summer long.
Our squash this summer, because I couldn't resist the two-toned charmer are nearly all Zephyr, a delicate flavored bush variety that makes me laugh when I walk by the compact plants.

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