Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Minestrone Awakening

Minestrone and I have had a complicated relationship. It’s long been a favorite of my mother’s, so I’ve been eating it all my life. But, I can’t say it’s ever been a favorite of mine. It has its upsides, like it’s quick and easy, accommodating to a variety of ingredients, and so good for you. But, I was never crazy about it…until now! One of the little known joys of going vegan is a taste bud awakening. I don’t know if the dairy and meat make it hard to taste other ingredients, but in the last few months, everything tastes better, and more alive than ever. Even things I used to make taste more vibrant and flavorful than I remembered. So when I ate this minestrone, it was like meeting for the first time. It was so good! It’s sitting in my refrigerator right now, and I want another bowl of it. It’s also perfect for summer (see my summer corn) or winter vegetables. It’s great to have in the freezer with a loaf of my favorite garlic bread to break out on days you just don’t feel like cooking. So, if you feel like you need something warm and nourishing, root around in your refrigerator and make a pot tonight!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
1 large can tomatoes with liquid
2 carrot
½  head of cabbage
1 cup green beans
1 cup wax beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can white beans
¼ cup basil
1 tablespoon oregano
A pinch of sugar
A splash of balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
5 cups spinach

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and carrots and garlic and sauté until soft. Add the stock, tomatoes, green and wax beans, cabbage, basil, oregano, sugar, and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are tender, but not limp, about 20 minutes. Add the beans, balsamic vinegar, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot!

Herb Garlic Bread

1 loaf Ciabatta bread
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup assorted herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc.) chopped
¼ cup olive oil plus a little more
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375º. Slice the bread into two thinner slabs, running parallel to the cutting board. In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and garlic, cooking until tender, about 1 minute. Add the herbs and cook until wilted. Spread across one half of the bread. Drizzle the other half with extra olive oil. Sandwich together and wrap in foil. Place in the oven for ten minutes. Then, open the bread so both halves are facing up, and broil until golden, about 5 minutes. Slice and serve. You can also cut the loaf in halves, or even thirds before baking, depending upon how many people you are serving, and freeze the rest. Reheat in a 375º oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then broil for five minutes at the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment