Italian-style vegetable stew


Vegetables, pesto and tomato sauce. What can be simpler? But a vegetable stew, when properly cooked, is anything but simple. With just the right amount of aromatics, and slow and careful cooking, a vegetable stew is a carnival of colors and aromas and textures. And, by using a different combination of vegetables each time, you can make this stew over and over, and it won't … [Read more...]

Cheese-topped skillet potatoes


The potatoes are boiled, cooled and sliced. A skillet is generously smeared with butter. The sliced potatoes are arranged, slightly overlapping, along the outer edge of the skillet. An inner circle of tomato slices follow. And, finally, at the center, chopped bell pepper and onion. Salt, pepper and pieces of cold butter are sprinkled over everything and on to the stove the … [Read more...]

Bruschetta with spinach, tomato and cheese


If you're wondering what the difference is between bruschetta and crostini, it has more to do with the preparation than with the size and thinness of the bread. Both bruschetta and crostini are Italian terms for toast bread. Generally, crostini are smaller and thinner. But that isn't what really sets it apart from bruschetta.Crostini is simply toasted slices of bread … [Read more...]

Roasted eggplants and tomato salsa


When we were in the supermarket last Sunday, Sam picked up a bag of eggplants. Unfortunately for her, the eggplants didn't get cooked before we drove her back to the condo the following day. It is Wednesday already, the eggplants won't stay nice and fresh much longer so I decided that they should get cooked today. Sorry, Sam, we'll just buy more eggplants when you get … [Read more...]

Easy pork, corn, tomatoes and basil lunch


It's the kind of dish that has everything in it -- meat, vegetables and herbs. What inspired it? Mexican staples, mostly. Fresh tomatoes and oregano make a classic combination; so do tomatoes and basil. Mexican cuisine uses a lot of pork and corn. I thought I put them all together and make this fast and easy dish.The corn can be canned, frozen or fresh. If using fresh, … [Read more...]

Sun-dried tomatoes


It was from Biba Caggiano that I first learned about sun-dried tomatoes. She would add a few to her pasta sauce -- apart from all the tomato sauce made from her food mill -- and she'd raved about how much tastier the sauce always turned out. It wasn't until years later that I would find sun-dried tomatoes in local deli shops. But what exactly are sun-dried … [Read more...]