Good morning! Tomorrow we are heading up to Maine for eight days, which I tell you for two reasons. 1) I will most likely not be posting here next week (instagram, another story) and 2) Today’s PPP entry is dedicated to my favorite kind of cooking — using up every possible perishable item in the fridge pre-vacation. Before I get to that, though, I wanted to let you know that all the recipes I’ve been chronicling since the beginning of the pandemic and the PPP series (mid-March) have now been organized alphabetically in their own category on the recipe index page. (Thank you, lovely intern Lily!) You can check that out here.
Pantry: Orecchiette with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Mint
Now, for the pantry diving: Naturally there was pasta involved. All I had by way of produce were two heads of gem lettuce, some of those beautiful little Fairy Tale eggplants from the market and a few shriveling cherry tomato stragglers. I halved and salted the eggplant and let sit for about 15 minutes (to extract their bitterness) and when they were ready, I tossed with tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and roasted at 400°F for about 30 minutes. (BTW You know the rule, right? The dirtier the baking sheet, the better the cook?) I added some chopped, olive-oil-dressed potatoes at the last minute because, as always, I had to think about the pasta-hater at the table. (I know! Eighteen years old and I am still dealing with this nonsense!) Halfway through I added roughly cut 1-inch pieces of red onion (also tossed in olive oil) and while it all roasted. I prepared my orecchiette, tossing with a little pasta water, pecorino, and butter at the end to give it that lovely sheen. A few cubes of mozzarella (all I had left!) some hand-torn mint and basil from the garden and…dinner. A damn good one at that, I might add. I also ended up tossing the gem lettuce with a light vinaigrette, and melting the last of a cheddar heel on top of leftover refried beans to serve to the pasta-hater along with the potatoes. I know you don’t believe me, but I promise you, this is fun for me.
Project: Any Fruit Cobbler
Next up: Dessert. This part I had prepped earlier in the day as I was clearing out the fridge. Every single possible piece of fruit went into my baking dish — you probably can’t tell, but in addition to the blueberries and strawberries, there are peaches, plums, and raspberries….
…The beauty of tried-and-true cobbler is that you can throw virtually anything in there and it will be heaven. I urge you to try it even when your produce is not necessarily on its last legs.
I have no “Purpose” today, haha. But wanted to at least leave you with a Thursday cocktail dispatch: These excellent Greenhook Ginsmith’s Gin and Tonic cans. Not perishable exactly, but certainly enjoyable, especially when enjoyed at golden hour beside the neighborhood pool.
Stay safe. Wear a mask! Have a great week.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, connected, and USEFUL. It began in March 2020. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.