Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Perfect End of Summer Meal

While I can't say that I am sad to see the heat and humidity of summer finally leave DC behind, I am going to miss access to such great local ingredients. In a Labor Day send off to summer, I pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks of the season -- while actually, its more of a magazine -- America's Test Kitchen, put out a Cooking for Two 2009 glossy which is great for when its just B and me!

One of my favorite recipes is the summer vegetable gratin -- showcasing zucchini, summer squash, onion, and heirloom tomatoes all heightened by an addition of Parmesan cheese. It was a great way to enjoy a 100% farmer's market side dish (with the exception of the Parmesan, cheese).

To accompany the gratin, I made the recipe for the shrimp and scallop risotto. This recipe is great and kicks up the risotto flavor by the additions of clam juice to the traditional chicken broth, as well as saffron (just a pinch), tomatoes, and basil. Plus risotto in general is one of my favorite dishes in any season since it can showcase virtually any ingredient (snap pea and asparagus in the spring, mushroom in the fall etc.).

These dishes, coupled with a mixed greens salad with B's vinaigrette and a Pouilly-Fuissé (a crisp, solid white wine from the Burgundy region of France) made for the perfect end to a long weekend that of course felt too short.
Full Disclosure: I actually learned how to make risotto from a Rachel Ray cookbook and get this, from a recipe she used to make for her dog! But seriously, her directions were easy to follow and I consider myself a bit of a risotto master now, so I highly recommend her recipe for Boo-sotto if you are apprehensive about learning the art (read: stirring) of risotto.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kathy-

    This post combined with my CSA share this week inspired me to attempt the gratin. So far mine looks nothing like yours, so maybe I found a different recipe from Cook's? In any case, I can't comment on the taste yet... it is 8:45 and still in the oven. Perhaps a bit ambitious for a weeknight. Next time I'll follow your lead and try it on a Sunday! Thanks for the inspiration to try something new!