Today for my birthday we decided to make sauteed bay scallops over sauteed spinach with pancetta and shallots, potato parsnip puree, and roasted cherry tomatoes and zucchini with mint. This was, surprisingly, not an expensive meal. The tomatoes, zucchini, and mint came from our garden, the rest of the food cost about $15, and it took about 30-40 minutes to make.
Here are the recipes:
Sauteed Spinach with Pancetta and shallots
2 lb spinach, coarse stems removed
1 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3 tablespoons)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Cook pancetta and shallots in oil in a skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes.
- Remove pancetta and shallots from skillet.
- Cook spinach in 1 inch of boiling salted water, 1 tbsp dry white wine, and 1 tbsp butter in skillet, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Remove spinach from skillet.
- Add scallops into skillet, cook until just opaque
- Add pancetta and shallots back into skillet and mix well, until everything is warm.
- Serve scallop, pancetta and shallot mix over spinach.
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3-4 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cover parsnips and potatoes with cold water by 1 inch in a pot, then add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil, partially covered.
- Reduce heat and simmer vegetables, partially covered, until very tender but not falling apart, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring cream, butter, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat.
- Drain vegetables in a colander. Force warm vegetables through potato ricer into cream mixture, then stir to combine well.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini With Mint
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 medium sized zucchini
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Cut tomatoes in half and zucchini in 1/2 inch slices.
- In a mixing bowl, toss tomatoes and zucchini gently with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread tomatoes and zucchini on a baking sheet so that it forms a single layer.
- Roast vegetables in oven for about 5-10 minutes, until tomato skins are just starting to come off.
- After serving tomatoes and zucchini, sprinkle chopped mint on top.
And now, for the pictures :)
I don't know what makes it so good, but this is the most wonderful peeler we have ever found. You won't know how wonderful a peeler can be until you get one of these, seriously.