Thursday, October 11, 2012

Under the Tuscan Tomato

On the menu:
Summer Veggies Lasagne
Tuscan Tomato Salad
Quick Mango Frozen Yogurt
page 50 of Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes

This meal has been on my to-do list all summer. I kept thinking that I better get this one done before all of the summer veggies are out of season. I was a bit wrong. This is a light and delicious lasagna and its easy to make but the veggies in it are frozen peas and edamame and fresh asparagus. I would definitely make this again but it is great for anytime of year. There is no seasonal pressure at all! The lasagna doesn't have a red sauce but layers of the veggies and get this…cottage cheese! Yes! So interesting! I took some leftovers down to my neighbor and it was a big hit in her house too. The side dish for this is Tuscan Tomato Salad. I'll come back to that in a second. For dessert, Quick Mango Frozen Yogurt was just that…quick! Even though everyone saw how easy it was to make (frozen mango chunks, honey, lime juice, cup of plain yogurt and whiz it up in the food processor), the kids thought it was cool that we had made frozen yogurt for dessert in a matter of minutes. Now, back to the Tuscan Tomato Salad. It was so awesome, I've made it again already! Fabulous! I can't say this enough but I love, love, love the side dishes in this book. The Tuscan Tomato Salad is made up of a yummy salsa like dressing that includes capers, anchovies (you can't taste them at all), basil, garlic, olive oil and roasted red peppers, finely chopped. I actually stuck mine in the mini food processor and it made a delicious salsa. Put the salsa-like-dressing in the bottom of a bowl, add some cut tomatoes of all shapes, colors and sizes and top with your homemade croutons. You then can take it to the table and just toss before serving. The croutons did give me a bit of a scare though because it involved, you guessed it, my arch enemy…the broiler. I really want to know if other people have as many problems with their broiler as I do. Despite the broiler trouble, I pick this as one of the must try recipes and I hope everyone will give it a go. Now, I know you are all getting quite tired of this broiler battle, I am too and so I set my timer for 1/2 the time it should have been and put it on the middle rack. The first night (my official cooking time) went fine. Things were a bit crispy but it was edible. My family loved it so much they wanted to have it again the next night with the lasagna leftovers. The second night, even though I did exactly the same thing, I had black smoke billowing out of the top of the stove with all hands on deck to keep the alarm from going off. I took my tray of charred croutons out the back door into the light drizzly rain and threw it onto the outdoor table in frustration. Its moments like this that I say to myself, "You still have a long way to go, baby." But, then I say, "But look how far you've come." Then I scraped off the burny parts,  mixed up another beautiful Tuscan salad and got rave reviews from my family.

Meals cooked: 12
Meals left: 38
Weeks left: 23
(Oh! This is bad folks. This is pretty bad. I really need to kick it into high gear if I'm going to finish on time.)

If you haven't already, buy the book. If you aren't ready to commit to the book, treat yourself to a TV episode on iTunes and check it out. I also try to check my local listings as often as possible, reruns will often run on BBC America. 

Below, the beautiful Tuscan Tomato Salad. A new house favorite


  1. Nice to see you posting! My broiler advice (from experience): leave the oven door slightly ajar, and stand there the whole time watching. As soon as you see them start to brown, regardless of the time given, take them out.

  2. Love it! Thank you! I posts are few and far between. I'll get it together here soon. Hope all is well!