My husband Adam loves to cook. Ever since we started dating he’s been making me dinners and desserts, explaining techniques and style, and everything I know about cooking I’ve learned from him. Being in the kitchen with Adam is so fun because he explains things like a professor, all from a very scientific perspective. He says things like “Now, what do we know about the properties of boiling water?” and “Did you know that the eggplant is part of the nightshade family?” I feel like I’m getting lessons from Alton Brown. But ever since I started showing an interest in cooking he’s been following my lead, going with my ideas and tastes, and boy I’ve really been hogging the kitchen time lately. Solution? Good ol’ turn-taking. Adam has graciously offered me 4 of the 7 nights per week and this means I need to make a game plan. I have to admit, I’m a list maker (translation: I’m IN LOVE with lists), but have never applied them to my cooking other than grocery lists. Now I wonder how I ever did without them! There are few things more pleasant to me than choosing which recipe belongs to which night (to ensure our taste buds stay excited; we can’t have Italian two nights in a row, now can we?), organizing a recipe’s ingredients by aisle in the grocery store (this helps me avoid the check-out line melt down where I realize I forgot coconut milk for tonight’s curry), crossing off ingredients as they appear in my cart, and finally making notes about accomplished recipes and their possible future incarnations. Yes, lists: I love you.
So last night I made 2 familiar somethings I had planned, but each with a spontaneous twist: zucchini sauté became spicy zucchini sauté over garlic bread (salivating…please try this) and roasted potatoes became roasted assorted fingerling potatoes with lemon and thyme (really pretty). Together these flavors were complimentary, but not boring which is a balance I am always striving for. I let these recipes grow and change within the framework of my game plan which led to a really fun and interesting evening in the kitchen. —[email protected]
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut the fingerling potatoes in half and add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Toss with your hands to coat and lay on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until the outside are crispy, about 25 minutes, turning them over once about half way through.
While potatoes are roasting, heat up olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat and add the onion. Sauté until translucent and add garlic. Stir until fragrant then add diced tomatoes (don’t drain), zucchini, squash, salt, pepper, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a few minutes until squash starts to soften, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low for about 10 minutes. Uncover to let some of the moisture evaporate for 5 minutes or so.
Once potatoes are roasted, turn oven off and place Italian bread right on the oven racks. Let lightly toast, about 2-3 minutes, then remove bread and potatoes. Take the whole garlic clove and rub all over one side of each piece of Italian bread (you may need more than 1 garlic clove to coat the bread if you’re making a large batch) until fragrant. Butter the bread on the same side.
Place the bread on a plate and ladle the spicy zucchini sauté over it. The juices will make the bread soft, but not mushy. Squeeze the lemon over the potatoes and toss before serving.