Saturday, May 15, 2010


Living with someone who has had a very sheltered food life can have a very limiting influence on what I'm able to prepare. Having been raised always eating the same foods, prepared in the same way, when he comes across something new his instinct is to stare at it and question what it is and what it will taste like. Fortunately, lasagna is something very familiar and sneaking in spinach (and zucchini and green pepper) is something I can accomplish with this recipe very easily since it is really quite yummy and easy to do!

SPINACH LASAGNA by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
This recipe and more can be found on

1 lb. whole grain lasagna noodles—Prepare according to package directions [I cheated and used the take out of the box and bake kind here]
4 cups chopped spinach—Steam for 2-3 minutes, let excess water drain [and puree; this is how I also get away with adding the zucchini]
16 oz. tomato sauce
2 cups fresh ricotta
2 cups mozzarella

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a large casserole. Cover surface with a layer of noodles, ½ of the ricotta, ½ of the spinach, 1/3 of the remaining sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Lay down another layer of noodles, the rest of the ricotta, the rest of the spinach, 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Spread a final layer of noodles, the remainder of the sauce and mozzarella, bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes.

The verdict: a recipe that I'm keeping and I'm ready and willing to try other recipes that were in the book. I quite enjoyed reading about their year of eating seasonably. Knowing how to eat with the seasons from local produce truly is knowledge that is rare to find anymore. Maybe this book will help change that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Asparagus Season is Here!

Yummy, yummy asparagus season is here! I never realized how much better it tastes when it's fresh and local. 

I cut the asparagus into 2" lengths after breaking off the ends and parboiled it for 2 minutes. Drained it and then dressed it with olive oil, lemon zest, real parmigiana cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Perfection! Thank you goes to the Italians for coming up with this one. They definitely seem to understand how to cook simply with fresh ingredients.

When reading Animal Mineral Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, I discovered the possibility of staying on a working farm in Italy. Apparently it is quite common there to stay on a working farm in lodgings similar to a bed and breakfast to truly taste the region you are in. ...sounds very, very interesting to me! Who wouldn't want to stay somewhere like this: