Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vegetables and Cheese (a few of my favorite things)

Last week, we had a meal that I thought was extra special.  Lovely roasted salmon with roasted red pepper and hazelnut pesto, along with bowties with roasted peppers, spinach, and tomatoes and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  It's nice to make a meal that has a common thread between the different dishes on your plate (garlic and peppers, in this case).  It's even nicer to make a meal that is chock full of wonderful vegetables used creatively.  Oh, how I love good vegetables presented in a savory manner!

And that's not all that made this dish special.  There were also the little slivers of fine cheese.  Friends, I'd like to opine on the virtues of good cheese.  Growing up, the only cheese I ever had was standard varieties like American and cheddar...the kind that you have to consume in large quantities to get any flavor.  In recent years, I've come to discover that just a pinch or a few slivers of good cheese contain more flavor than a cup of your average cheddar.  Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego (oh! Manchego!), Goat Cheese, Gorgonzola...oh my!  I'm really starting to develop a love affair with good cheese.  And lest you say, "I could never afford good cheese," have you stopped to look lately at what they're charging for your standard American "blah" varieties these days?  Around here, the least you're gonna pay for it is $2-$2.50 on a fantastic sale for a bag of shredded cheddar or a block of cheese.  (Ok, I admit it, I do like sharp cheddar, but it's nowhere near as good as, say, Manchego.)  Think of how much you have to use and how little of the good stuff...Yes, you can afford it!

While we are on the topic of good cheese, let me bring up a new discovery.  Boursin.  Have you people tried this stuff?  It's amazing!  Creamy and flavorful...like a creamier, milder goat cheese but it's made from cow's milk.  The variety I had last night was garlic and herb, spread on crackers.  This stuff gives new dignity to the term "cheese spread."


  1. Looks yummy! I think you should include the recipe if you're gonna post a picture like that. :)

  2. Thank you...I cain't post recipes that are copyrighted, but I can tell you that you can find the link to the pasta here: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001988548

    Just adjust to using bowties (easier to find) and spinach (again, easier to find and cheaper...I frequently substitute spinach for arugula in recipes).

    The salmon I'm not sure about as it was a newspaper recipe...

  3. Yummy. I made chicken stir-fry last night. Brown rice, which I love. So much more flavor than white.
    Carrots, celery and snow peas. (The only veggies that I had on hand)
    But so yummy. And for lunch. The leftovers! score.

  4. That sounds really good, Lucinda! Leftovers are my favorite lunch!


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