Thursday, June 25, 2009

CEiMB - Vegetable Cheese Stratta and Barefoot Bloggers make Ina Garten's Gazpacho



This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly selection is Vegetable Cheese Stratta, selected by Jenn of A Mid-Life Culinary Adventure (gee, that's what I feel like I'm having!)

This one was such a pleasure to make and eat. It had loads of veggies (a great use of my CSA goodies) and was very flexible (I didn't have an onion, so I substituted scallions; I felt like adding spinach, so I did). It was a great make-ahead, and I ate it for lunch rather than for breakfast. It would even be great for dinner. Since I'm still on my own this week, I made 1/8th of the recipe so I wouldn't have to eat it for 8 meals.

I added some crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick and I used the last of an olive oil rosemary bread. It wasn't whole grain, but it worked well with the flavors, and it was what I had on hand.


After having this for lunch the next day, I regretted making 1/8th of the recipe. It was fantastic! So cheesy and flavorful from the garlic and nutmeg. This one is going into the rotation.
*******

Meryl of My Bit of Earth chose this week's Barefoot Bloggers recipe and it was perfect timing, as summer officially began in the northern hemisphere and many Barefoot Bloggers live in parts of the US and Canada that are already sweltering. We're finally heating up in northern California, so this was still a great option to use summer's bounty.


Thankfully, this one didn't dirty a kitchen full of dishes, just the food processor, a measuring cup and a large bowl. I used some of my Nudo olive oil (which I learned about thanks to Nancy), but I reduced the vinegar and olive oil by half. The only ingredient that came from my CSA was the red onion, although later I realized I could have added diced yellow squash and it would have been perfect. I used orange peppers because that was what I had, and I added a diced small avocado. I ate the first bowl after I made it, and it was good and fresh, but needed more salt (I used low sodium vegetable juice, so I wasn't surprised). I'm thinking about adding hot sauce or cilantro, or maybe both. Ina says this is better after it sits for a few hours, so I'm really looking forward to enjoying it after it cures.

Many thanks to Meryl for a great pick! If you'd like to join us as we cook and blog our way through Ina's cookbooks (and why wouldn't you, her recipes are easy and great!), check out how to join here.

19 comments:

Penny said...

Both of your recipes look great. I loved the gazpacho and you are right. It is very versatile.

applecrumbles said...

What a great job on both accounts.
Our strata - turned frittata, didn't work out so well.
The gazpacho is perfect for the summer heat.

Pamela said...

Nice job! Everything looks wonderful, and your strata looks so cheesy and delicious!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

'felt like adding spinach, so I did"

You bad, bad girl - just going around doing whatever you want. For shame!

:)

--Nick

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

So cute in that little ramekin! This really is a great throw whatever you have around in a baking dish type of recipe.

Your gazpacho also looks excellent!

-Sara

pinkstripes said...

Both sound delicious. I would love to try them.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Those were two good picks, and you did a great job - I'd love to taste it all! So glad you're liking the Nudo oil; the flavored ones are fun when they arrive.

thenotsoskinnykitchen said...

Oh, the flavored bread was probably a great addition to the recipe! Same for the crushed red pepper flakes. On its own, it was a little bland, but those sound like great variations.

girlichef said...

yup, salsa-ish ;) !!! They do definitely both look delicious.

Jennifer said...

Both dishes look awesome...your gazpacho looks chunkier than mine did...maybe I overprocessed mine?????

Fabulous job on both!!!!

margot said...

These both look like great summer dishes. I don't think I can handle another group, but it's fun seeing what CEIMB and the BB make. I tried the curried couscous over the weekend and it was delicious.

Sarah said...

Thanks for giving me the idea about throwing in the spinach. And I changed my post (sorry I called you Lisa, I was going from memory). I can't wait to try mine tomorrow.

Lauryn said...

I love how cute your little mini strata is! It looks delicious!

Cathy said...

They both look fabulous! I'm kicking myself for skipping the strata - I think I need to go back and make it this weekend (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? That is the question.) I loved the gazpacho, and this it totally lends itself to being spice up til your heart's content! It all looks beautiful!

Hornedfroggy said...

Both look really yummy!! :)

Michele said...

Both your strata and your gazpacho looks so delicious!

Madam Chow said...

I'm glad you posted this - I love strata, and I'm always on the lookout for a good recipe.

Cakelaw said...

I love your serve for one in the ramekin.

Jenn H (formerly TourGuideJenn) said...

A belated but heartfelt thanks for cooking the strata with me. I know how you feel about wet bread, so I'm delighted you tried. I'm amazed you went to all the effort for one serving - this was a recipe of a thousand ingredients.