Tag Archives: tomato

Spinach Orzo with Pine Nuts & Feta Cheese



It’s another one of “those” weeks. Loaded with projects and exams and everything that senior year promised to deliver, delivered.

I’m possessed by this overwhelming feeling that I either a) should be living somewhere else, such as London, or b) should be doing something else, such as cooking all day under the ruse of “learning.” I value my university education, I do. But what if, at this very moment, I’m not actually fulfilling my purpose? Or, even more horrifying, what if I’m meant to spend the rest of my life pyschoanalyzing the moment instead of enjoying it?

With these thoughts flooding my mind during the past week, I’ve been self-medicating with inordinate amounts of pasta. Didn’t you hear? Psychologists recommend dealing with your feelings by eating them.

Recipe from here. Just happened to be exactly what I was craving.

Spinach Orzo with Pine Nuts & Feta Cheese:
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked orzo
1/2 C. olive oil
2 TB. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
a few leaves of fresh basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 C. pine nuts
1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach
1/8 C. balsamic vinegar
8 ounces package crumbled feta cheese
1/2 fresh tomato, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. (Until firm.) Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl, and set aside.
2) Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring to blend. Stir in garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes, and reduce heat to medium.
3) Stir in pine nuts and cook until lightly browned. Add spinach, cover, and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
4) Toss spinach mixture with orzo pasta.
5) Portion onto serving plates with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper.

What’s your pity party meal?

Zucchini, Squash and Tomato Gratin

One woman’s trash is another’s treasure. Or, in this case, my mom’s surplus of squash is my opportunity to get a lil’ crazy in the kitchen. I need to know more people with CSA memberships. They have so much to give. Like vegetables. Especially as the summer comes to a close, I’m trying to find ways to throw those last lovely summer squashes into everything I consume.

So, I made a gratin. The word rolls off the tongue almost as deliciously as the meal tastes on the tongue. Sure, roasted vegetables are great, but when you add cheese and bread crumbs, there’s really no need to eat anything else. Unless you’re a lush like I am and put the gratin on top of pasta with walnut pesto.

The recipe came from Healthy Delicious. I’m kind of in love with that blog–yummy recipes. (And I won a Dutch oven from a contest held there. I admit my bias.)

Zucchini, Squash and Tomato Gratin:
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB fresh thyme
1 zucchini, sliced
1 summer squash, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 TB Italian herbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very soft — about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme. Spread the onions in the bottom of a baking dish.
2) Layer the squash, zucchini and tomato in the dish. Alternate layers of vegetables with some cheese and herbs.
3) Top with the rest of the herbs de Provence and the cheese. Sprinkle a thin layer of panko bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with more olive oil.
4) Bake at 375 for 60 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

What recipes are you making to commemorate the end of the summer?