Delicious recipes for the curious cook!
This weekend I took a tour of European cuisine right from the comfort of my own kitchen. It was a rainy, damp Saturday and I wanted to take advantage of the weather as an excuse to stay inside and experiment with some dishes I haven’t cooked before. I decided on two recipes from two of my favorite cookbooks- Barefoot In Paris and My Father’s Daughter– and chose dishes that are inspired by both France and northern Italy for a truly European dinner.
First, I made Ina Garten’s puff pastry with spinach, which is a fairly easy, vegetarian dish filled with warm spinach, cheese and onions that is reminiscent of a savory croissant. It’s technically considered an appetizer, but if you’re only feeding a few people it can be used as an entree, as my fiance and I did. A few things to note- Ina is not one to shy away from butter and cheese and, while I love her for that, I found the dish didn’t need as much as she instructed. I cut the butter down to about 2 tbsps and I eyeballed the cheese to about 3/4 cup and it was just fine. It’s a matter of preference but I found that I still had more filling than I could use, so cutting down some of the ingredients is probably best!
Next, I wanted to make a unique and delicious side to accompany the pastry but wanted to try something I hadn’t done before. My fiance and I both like artichokes, but typically don’t have them on their own and I certainly have never made them at home before (aside from in a dip or on a pizza), so I gave Gwyneth Paltrow’s marinated artichoke hearts a try and they didn’t disappoint! They are flavorful but light enough to be the perfect side dish without feeling stuffed. Instead of using bread cubes, I opted for some shredded parm, but either would be delicious.
Feeling curious for a taste of Europe? Give these dishes a try this week!