Monday, May 17, 2010


I didn't feel like the word deserved to be capitalized. I know, that's a little discriminatory but, they are just leftovers.

Over the past few nights we've had some pretty yummy meals. Braised beef short ribs and gorgonzola polenta, mom's spaghetti and meatballs with a green salad, and a summery baked potato with sour cream, parsley and bacon; and sweet corn on the cob with basil and green garlic butter.

Somehow I ended up with a zested lime and orange begging to be juiced. There were also small amounts of wild arugula, red leaf lettuce, basil, and fresh parsley. Two ears of corn, a handful of tomatoes, ricotta salata cheese and a little green garlic round out the left over list.

I'm certainly no expert but... if I could impart some knowledge learned along the way, it would be to keep a grain/pasta on hand that you can use as a base for 'salads'. For example, quinoa, millet couscous, orzo or pearl pasta can all be cooked in no time and combined with almost anything to make a yummy salad type side or even light main dish.

Tonight, I used quinoa. I chopped the green garlic (any allium will do: green onion, chive, shallot) and combined it with fresh orange juice, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to make a bright citrus vinaigrette. Then I sliced up the rest of the tomatoes, stripped the corn kernels off their cobs and picked parsley leaves. I added them all to the vinaigrette. Once the quinoa was cooked and still warm, I tossed it into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and crumbled the ricotta salata over the top. I also combined what was left of the red leaf, arugula and basil with a touch of olive oil and salt. Finally, I piled the lettuces on a plate and topped them with the warm quinoa salad.

It was light, colorful, flavorful and satisfying.

Leftovers with a capital L.

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