I have been on vacation in Italy (just to gloat a little) and had intended to set something up to publish automatically while I was away, just in case everyone missed me, but in the pre-holiday craziness I forgot. Better than forgetting to turn off the oven, but I apologize to everyone who pined away for my posts in my absence.
More about Italy soon, but having just flown back in this afternoon (and boy are my arms tired) I am busy doing laundry, making sure nothing major happened at work, and reconciling myself to the fact that my vacation is over. I don't think I have anything in the fridge right now -- I made sure to pour out the dregs of the milk before I left (I have made that mistake before and it is a really smelly welcome home gift) -- so will have to hit the store to see what I can whip up. As much as I have been enjoying my pasta and pizza, I'm thinking tonight might be something more along the lines of a curry or a stir fry just for some variety.
But for now, though the cupboard is bare, I have a little something waiting in the wings to be posted. A few weeks ago, I went on a vegetable shopping spree at Borough Market because summer is all too short and I felt like I needed to lay in a supply, just because it was available. What to do with the bounty, besides put it in my vegetable bowl and admire my still life (which I think sounds much nicer than the French "nature morte", though I suppose the French is technically more true)? Thinking French, I decided a ratatouille -- or at least my interpretation of one -- would be perfect. I could have served it with crusty french bread, toasted, rubbed with garlic, and drizzled with olive oil, but instead I decided to make some polenta. It was a perfect way to celebrate the season.
And now to try to find something for dinner tonight...
Mid-summer ratatouille with polenta
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, halved & quartered lengthwise, then chopped
1 medium zucchini, halved & quartered lengthwise, then chopped into 1/2 inch thick pieces
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
In medium sauce pan, heat oil and saute onion until soft. Add garlic, cook for a few minutes. Then add carrot and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and bell pepper, cook until soft but not falling apart. Add chickpeas and heat through. Serve with fresh basil leaves torn over the top, with polenta.
1/2 C. polenta
2 C. water
1 tsp. salt
Boil water. Add polenta to pan of water, whisking to remove clumps, then stir through while polenta thickens and cooks. Polenta is supposed to cook slowly for 30 minutes or more, with the cook stirring all the while. I find I make very tasty polenta in about 5 minutes, just stirring so it doesn't burn.