Making do with what's at hand is my forte.
I love the problem-solving aspect of trying to figure out a situation while making the best use of the resources I have at my disposal.
"substance from a solution"
Amy Duncan 2009
One recent night I found myself with a big bag of fresh spinach that needed to be eaten sooner rather than later and no other prospects for dinner. I love pesto but since it is early spring, there is yet no basil growing outside my back door. Basil is a leaf - spinach is a leaf - couldn't one substitute for another? I went to work.
I had plenty of spinach leaves and fresh garlic; Patricia Well's pesto recipe in her Trattoria cookbook is my favorite - very simple and easy. I minced the garlic in the food processor, added the spinach leaves, slowly poured in the olive oil. By the way, I always have a glass of wine when I am cooking...its usually 5pm...its happy hour...I'm relaxing...and cooking...all is good...
An aside - I am not a big fan of many gadgets - I like to keep it as simple as possible - but I love my Cuisinart. Got my first one in 1983 - used it 20 years until the plastic housing cracked - now I'm on my second one. It is a great time saver plus does things (like making pesto) that would just not be the same done by hand.
After the pesto was done, I sauteed some onion and mushrooms to give the final pasta dish a little more substance.
Here is my kitchen helper...whenever anyone is in the kitchen, Calvin is there...you just never know what might fall
on the floor!
I stirred the cooked rotini into the pan with the sauteed onions and mushrooms and then added a healthy amount of the spinach pesto - topped with parmesan cheese - it was the perfect green solution for a quick bistro dinner.