Monday, November 9, 2009

Home Sick (Breakfast Bruschetta)

I spent all day yesterday taking care of two children—one of them three years old, the other thirty-two— a perfect waste of a sunny Sunday. They are both sick with some unknown bug, and though my husband stumbled off to the office this morning, I am stuck at home with the smaller, much more whiny patient.

She wants nothing more than to watch episodes of Old School Sesame Street on DVD, curl up in my lap, and breathe the Plague directly into my nostrils. I am determined to get her well and back in preschool as soon as possible. So I am feeding her good things, in hopes of hastening recovery.

We made Nigella’s Breakfast Bruschetta for lunch, another perfectly good and speedy recipe from her 2007 book, Nigella Express. The sick patient, who hadn’t eaten all morning, scarfed it down and said (stuffy-nosed and gratefully), “Thanks, Mob. I sure lub abocado.”

One healthy lunch and a dose of Children’s Motrin later, and she was passed out in bed for two hours. Score.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Easy Peasy (Nigella's Pea and Pesto Soup)

I wish I could say this soup was my idea. It’s so brilliant and simple. With 15 minutes and literally four strokes of your knife, you can get this verdant, flavorful soup onto your table (or, as goddess Nigella suggests, into a thermos for a workday lunch).

It's cheap, quick and made fabulous thanks to one of those “all the difference in the world” ingredients I love to use over and over again in my own kitchen- homemade pesto. I grew a ton of basil from seed this past summer, planted it in a border all around my yard, and made several batches of pesto while the bushes were nice and full. I froze my pesto in ice cube trays, which is a great way to store it in smaller portions for use all winter long. So when I came across the recipe this morning while perusing Nigella’s book, I popped a couple pesto cubes from the freezer and made the soup for lunch. It made me feel super healthy, and seemed to justify the handful of mellocreme pumpkins I ate for dessert.


15 Minutes Later:

15 Minutes After That:

Pea and Pesto Soup (from Nigella Express)

(feeds 2, generously)
3 cups water
3 cups frozen peas (I like petite peas)
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon lime juice
¼ cup fresh pesto (homemade or the “fresh” kind you find in tubs in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)

1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Add frozen peas, scallions, salt, and lime juice. Allow to simmer up to 7 minutes. (NOTE: Once I added the frozen peas, I let it all come back to a boil, but only for about 3 minutes.)
3. Discard scallions- blend the peas and the liquid with the pesto in a blender.
4. Test for seasoning (NOTE: I added a little more lime juice to my own taste. When it was all said and done, I used the juice from one small lime.)
5. Serve.