Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween!

Sometimes when it is late and I am tired and I have nothing planned for dinner I poke into the fridge to see what the possibilities are. On this occasion I was cooking only for myself so I did not have to consider anyone else's preferences. What I found was a quarter of a zucchini, half a bag of spinach, and third of an onion. It was an algebra problem.

Well, no problem at all if you heat up olive oil, saute several cloves of chopped garlic, add a chili pepper and saute the fractions of leftover vegetables in the seasoned oil. I have taken to putting sliced lemons directly into the saute pan with the vegetables to cook. The lemons warm up and almost melt into the pan coating everything with a bright acidic note which helps to counter balance the weight of the olive oil. I can stand over the stove and eat a meal like this right out of the pot, it tastes so good to me.
I had some pine nuts too, so I threw them on top for some chewy texture.

Over the weekend my husband and I went to a wine tasting in our neighborhood at The Wine Room of Forest Hills.  We love this shop, whose owners, a local couple, keep it stocked with diverse and interesting collections of wines. Whenever we visit we always find something new and exciting to buy. This time Alan got intrigued by a French red blend that we brought home. Domaine Des Cantarelles 40% Cabernet-Syrah 60% was affordable for our weekend splurge at under $12 a bottle.
I love drinking wine from these beautiful Moroccan tea glasses, a gift from my sister in Brooklyn.

Upon tasting it we both struggled to find a way to describe the wine to make Amanda proud. Its distinctive quality was its rough, mineral-ly start that opens your eyes and then quickly mellows out to a very smooth finish. Quite drinkable! I really liked it paired with my sauteed vegetables which actually start out smooth in your mouth from the olive oil and then finishes with a little bitter bite from the spinach.

How did we do Amanda? What would you pair with the greens?

Spinach and Zucchini Saute
4 Tbs. olive oil
4 garlic cloves sliced
1 dried chili pod
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
8 oz cleaned spinach leaves
4 slices of lemon
2 Tbs. pinenuts (this is optional, it adds a little fancy finish to this dish)

Heat oil in a saute pan, add garlic and chili and cook for 5 minutes till garlic begins to turn golden. Add the onion and the zucchini and saute for a few minutes until the zucchini begins to turn a bit golden in spots. Add the spinach and the lemon slices and let the spinach wilt down until tender. Season with s & p. and top wit pinenuts.

serves one

The Halloween chaos has started. My house has been insane this morning and my neighbors are waiting outside for me. And, it's only 10:30 am. So, I will make this quick. Deb, the recipe sounds delicious as always. I would just be careful of this wine pairing because of the chile. If it's a spicy one, you don't want the heat to be exacerbated by the tannins in the wine, specifically from the Cabernet. And, you don't want the chile to affect the wine either. That would be my only caveat. I am a believer that you should drink whatever you want with whatever you want. As long as you like it. There are no steadfast rules, only tips. I, personally, would go for a fruity white. Something that will quell the chile and work well in conjunction with it. Again, this really depends on the heat the pepper delivers. Perhaps a Pinot Blanc from Alsace, or a Pinot Gris from Oregon.

Now, my children are calling me from outside so I must go outside and face the ghouls. My apologies for the brevity! Happy Halloween everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Every receipe is always a winner on this blog, accompanied by gorgeous photo's that have you running to grab a pot & turn up the heat but........ Last week, I tried the "Mushroom Strata" receipe(posted here a while ago), & it was the most effortless yet rewarding dish I have cooked in ages!
    Utilizing all my stale bread, a few eggs & a hodge-podge of veg & cheese we had a hearty & satisfying dinner for five that was very cost effective & delish! My children loved it! There was nothing left! Need I say more?
    How great to see what's happening on the G&G blog to spark one's idea's for dinners & have everyone at the table cheer at the results.
    Thanks for the much needed inspiration!


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