As a modern day free-spirit I don’t generally find myself spending a whole lot of time cooking, or even in the kitchen in general. Plus, since I basically only ever cook for one (my roommate has just about the worst diet, if you even dare call it that, and is a serious carnivore, and rarely eats anything that isn’t friend or smothered in butter), I find it hard to find small portion vegetarian friendly recipes that are yummy and easy to make. So when I do venture into the kitchen I always like to whip up something with fresh veggies (probably the vegetarian in me), and something small enough for one.
So, last night I decided to make a veggie medley with some of the fresh veggies I already happened to have on hand. Now personally I think everything tastes THAAAAT much better with pesto and cheese, so I like to add either one (usually even both) to anything I cook. So with that came out my latest creation of Sautéed Veggies with Pesto and Feta.
1 Medium sized potato (sliced)
1 Clove of garlic (finely chopped)
3 Handfuls of already sliced mushrooms
1 Large zucchini (sliced)
8 Spears of asparagus (chopped)
2.5 Tablespoon of canola or (olive) oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of pesto
1 Tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese (if you don’t have that on hand then Parmesan is also delicious and works well)
(Slight disclaimer: when I cook for myself, unless I’m following a recipe I generally approximate all ingredients to my personal likings’, so please feel free to adjust recipe and ingredients accordingly based on your own personal preferences.)
Now that you’re all set with your ingredients the real fun begins!
So, since potatoes take the longest to cook it makes most sense to start there. First, peel the potato, then cut into four large quarter sections, and finish it off by cutting each quarter into thin slices. This isn’t a recipe that involves serious perfection, so no need to break your back trying to make perfectly even slices. As soon as your done slicing you want to start cooking your potatoes, this way they can get nice and golden-brown with a slightly crispy finish while you finish prepping the rest of your veggies. My stove-top was set to a medium-high heat for this (safety first), but I would adjust the heat slightly throughout the cooking process to avoid anything getting burnt. So, add about one tablespoon of your oil to the pan, and then add in your potatoes, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Now, whatever you do, do NOT forgot to stir the potatoes occasionally because you want them to cook evenly all the way through, and not be burnt on one-side.
Once your potatoes are going you want to quickly get your garlic clove finely chopped, so that you can add that in next. Because guess what? Nothing is better than garlic potatoes–in any form!! OK, now that potatoes and garlic have had a moment to mix together it’s safe to add the mushrooms into the pot (or in this case pan). Here, depending on how seasoned you like your food you may want to add a touch more salt and/or pepper, and a splash more oil if you think your sautée is looking a little dry.
While that’s all cooking together you can continue the rest of your prep work. So, next I quickly cut my asparagus; I like to use chunks so I cut each spear into four to five pieces. Set that to the side, and don’t forget to keep mixing the veggies you currently have sautéing together. Now add in your asparagi (plural of asparagus?). Use your best judgement here to decide if you want/need more oil, salt, and /or pepper, add whatever you want at your own discretion here.
We’re almost done! As that’s all cooking together (and you keep mixing occasionally), it’s time to cut the zucchini. I personally prefer my zucchini chopped into thin slices, so that’s what I did.
As soon as that’s done, you can now immediately add the zucchini into the pan with everything else. And let it all sautée and mix together, stirring occasionally. I let everything cook together for about 7-10 minutes before I started mixing in the pesto sauce!! My personal preference is to gradually mix in the sauce until it looks delicious to you, and your taste buds. Once you have your desired amount of pesto sauce added, let everything cook together (never stop stirring) for another 2-3 minutes.
Finally, your hard work has paid off and it’s time to serve and let the FEAST begin! So, move the entire pan of ingredients to a serving dish, a sprinkle with your favorite cheese topping. Like I said earlier, I LOVE cheese, so I probably ended up adding a little more than a tablespoon of crumbled feta (but trust me it was worth every calorie).
And, voila dinner for one vegetarian (or just a veggie lover) is served (yummm-o!!!).
Bonus: it’s super easy to adjust the types of ingredients you’re using, and the quantities of each depending on the number of people you want to feed. Also, makes for a great appetizer for dinner parties, and left-overs can easily be boxed and taken to work for lunch the next day. Talk about a meal that just keeps on giving.