Having a teenager who suddenly decides he wants to be a vegetarian is a challenge I hadn't anticipated. I confess: I feel a little betrayed that my home cooking isn't cutting it, but I know it has nothing really to do with me. Trying to develop Vegetarian dishes that wow - we tried out tofu the other night: marinated it with a host of savory flavors and then tried it seared and added to stir fry, and then we rolled some in panko to see how it differed. Apparently marinating makes the tofu much more tender and melt-in-your-mouth.Our most recent foray into Vegetarian cooking was Walnut-Spinach Quesadillas. I found the recipe online but it called for making a Walnut-Black Olive Butter, which frankly, didn't blow my skirt up, so we improvised.
We started with:
a heated cast iron skillet with some lovely extra virgin olive oil added to it,
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
half an onion, chopped semi-fine
6-8 baby bella mushrooms (was about a cup and a half)
1 and a quarter cups walnuts, chopped roughly (tip of your pinkie size)
salt and pepper
We sauteeed this until it was tender, adding a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar(for meatiness)
and a quarter cup of water near the end, to help the walnuts soften - the water was fully absorbed before we took it off the heat. This concoction went into a bowl to cool while we cleaned up the skillet and got it ready again (more lovely olive oil)
On a cutting board we assembled the quesadillas, using:
1 flour tortilla
handful of shredded mozzarella (I think gorgonzola would be killer in this as well, btw)
serving spoonful of walnut/mushroom stuff
handful of fresh spinach leaves (take the big stems off when you wash this)
Grill in skillet until brown and crispy on both sides, remove and cut in half.
We served this with fresh sliced local tomatoes and it was delicious!
As a non-Vegetarian, I was pleasantly surprised by how meaty and satisfying this dish was.
Sadly, no picture this time: we ate them too fast!