I recently gave myself a challenge to work veggies into everything, and I do mean everything, that I make the Southern husband for dinner. Sometimes that works out as a side dish, like mustard bacon asparagus or a nice Bloody Mary salad. But we are great pasta lovers, and as it turns out, tomatoes are not the only vegetable in town that can be best friends with your plate of pasta. As it turns out, pan-roasted cauliflower with bacon in a buttery white wine sauce is a delightful way to eat your veggies.
As a mother, and as someone who has an amazing mother, I feel it is my responsibility to tell you that Mother’s Day is going to be here in a little over one short month. That gives you about 5 weeks or so to find the perfect gift for the person who, in addition to one million other things, may have spent her birthday in 20 hours of labor, thereby missing going out to eat for her birthday dinner at a swanky restaurant. And okay, Southern daughter, you ARE the best birthday present I ever have or will get, but there’s still that 20 hours of labor thing. And so for all of you looking (as I am sure the Southern daughter is doing Right This Minute) for the perfect unusual Mother’s Day gift, I am here to help!
One of my favorite things to do is to experiment with making some of the things we usually buy in jars and cans and boxes at the supermarket. The trick is, they have to be less of an effort than getting in the car, driving to the market, putting it in the cart, waiting in the checkout line and unloading it at home. So far, the things I have figured out that are both faster and more delicious than that whole process include ricotta cheese, hummus and butter. Pickles aren’t as fast (they do have to pickle themselves for a week or two) but they taste one million times better. And now I can add peanut butter to this list!
Welcome to the latest in my series of One Bowl Suppers! If you are just tuning in to this channel now, the Southern husband and I are having a weekly one bowl supper that features a whole grain, a protein, some kind of greens, some kind of colorful veggie and a drizzle of dressing. We’ve experimented so far with steak, with seared tuna and with salmon, and this time we gave jarred tuna a go. And once again, experimenting with a completely made-up-at-the-drop-of-a-hat combo of flavors and ingredients didn’t let us down!
This is one of those dishes that looks like you planned and labored over it for hours. Hours, I tell you! Please don’t tell anyone that (including making the homemade marinara sauce) it will take you about 30 minutes. Yup, 30 minutes is all that is standing between you and some tender shrimp bathed in marinara sauce and nestled in a warm and wonderful bowl of creamy polenta. (Side note: I have a secret craving to write menu descriptions – can you tell? I would totally order something described as tender shrimp bathed in marinara sauce and nestled in a warm and wonderful bowl of creamy polenta.) But since I don’t have a restaurant, the Southern husband is just going to have to fill in as the one who gets to hear my dramatic descriptions. So let’s go make it!
Here’s the thing about lasagna and cooking when there are only two people living in your house. You can’t do it. Well, you CAN do it, if you are up for eating lasagna for a solid week straight, but there’s no reasonable way (that I have yet discovered) to cook lasagna for two the traditional way. So until my Southern daughter and all her hordes of friends come back from college for the summer, I’m just going to have to be untraditional. As in, I’m turning that lasagna into a hearty, warm and wonderful soup.