Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I must admit, I am something of a tomato snob. In the summer, they become the main focus of almost every dish I cook. But during the other months of the year, they remain mostly neglected. Tomatoes just aren't the same in the Fall, Winter and Spring. I wait, every year, with great anticipation for the first heirlooms to arrive so that I can finally make my favorite dish, tomato and basil pasta, which I make at least once a week during the summer. A big batch of it sits nearly constantly in my fridge. I crave it almost always and make it every chance I get. It's the most requested recipe amongst my friends, and it's one I'll share soon.
But for now, a cooking by feel recipe. Amber was coming for dinner and I was recreating the coconut curried shrimp dish, but I also had some beautiful tomatoes resting on the counter and fresh greek feta. I was dying for some kind of pasta. Curried shrimp with pasta on the side doesn't make much sense, admittedly, but luckily Amber was willing to overlook that.
Not quite so luckily, she happened to lock her keys inside her car with the engine running right outside my apartment. Never fear. She called AAA, I poured us some rhubarb gin & tonic's and got to work on grilling the shrimp. We chatted, sipped and grilled while keeping an eye out for AAA. Crisis averted and dinner served!
This is one of those cooking by feel recipes for me. I basically took my Mother's tried and true french vinaigrette, mixed it with chopped basil and mint and poured it over the pasta, feta and veggies.
Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes, Corn, Feta and Kalmata Olives
Orzo (1 package cooked according to directions)
2 ears of corn
6 small vine tomatoes
6 ounces greek feta, chopped
8 ounces kalmata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 jar roasted red peppers
3 tbsp basil
2 tbsp mint
6 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper
Heat the oven to 350. Chop the tomatoes and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, the dried oregano and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Meanwhile, Scrape the corn off the cobs with a knife, set aside in a bowl. Add the chopped feta, olives, red pepper and tomatoes when done. Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Toss with the cheese and veggies.
Mix the mint, basil, 4 tbsp olive oil, lemon, minced garlic, mustard and salt & pepper. Dress the pasta mixture with the dressing. Taste for salt and pepper and season accordingly. Serve warm, at room temperature or even cold.