Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kitchen sink dinner.

In our house, Tuesday night dinner falls in either one of two camps:
1 - The cupboard is bare. We've eaten everything from the box and we're just counting the hours until tomorrow night's box pick-up.
2 - We've got to use up the rest of the veggies!!! But how do we put them all together in a coherent dish?

Tonight was definitely a #2 night. When I got home tonight, we still had: green garlic, Tokyo turnips, asparagus, sage. I managed to get three of those four items into our dinner tonight. (DANG! Just realizing I forgot to use the sage.) Plus, I used up most of the ricotta that was left over from the calzones this weekend. It was a real kitchen sink dinner!

We had baked polenta topped with herb ricotta and a veggie saute, plus roasted balsamic asparagus and turnips on the side. I meant to sneak some sage in there but forgot. Oh well!

This was an easy dinner that was on the table in about 35 minutes, perfect for a meal after a wonderful 3.5 mile run at the gym. I took my new shoes on an inaugural spin tonight - Brooks Defyance running shoes. My last pair was Saucony and they were definitely more cushy and plush, but I wanted to try something different since I've been experiencing a bit of knee/leg/foot pain as I increase my mileage. Despite one little foot cramp after I got off the treadmill, it was wonderful to be in a pair of new shoes!

So how did dinner get on the table? (Does anybody have a good source for a dinner fairy? I could use one sometimes ...)

Prep the veggies: Preheat the oven to 425. Clean and chop the turnips, then place on a baking sheet and douse in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pop them in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. Clean the asparagus, breaking off the woody bottom parts (you can save these for stock) and chopping the spears in half. Put on a baking sheet and add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Slice a premade tube of polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Add to the asparagus sheet (make sure you've got some cooking spray on there). Pop these in the oven.

Get the saute veggies ready: thinly slice half an onion, one stalk of green garlic (or some regular garlic), a carrot, and some red bell pepper. Heat about one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion. After a couple of minutes, add the rest of the veggies and saute while the items in the oven roast. For the last couple of minutes, I added some water and lowered the heat to low to braise for a bit.

Finish the oven items: After about 10 minutes in the oven, pull the polenta out, flip, and top each slice with herbed ricotta (ricotta + herbs de Provence + salt). Pop them back in the oven to finish cooking. When the 25 minutes are up, dinner is ready! Pull everything out, and add a bit of balsamic to the roasted veggies as well as the ones in the saute pan. Top the polenta with the sauteed veggies and enjoy! (A note - my radishes were pretty small, so I had to pull them out of the oven partway through cooking so they didn't burn. I tossed them back in for the last five minutes so they could heat back up.) This was tasty, quick, and filling! Yum!

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