I’ve been having some fun in the kitchen the past few weeks, working on a couple new recipes. Sometimes creative cooking is a challenge in the winter – I miss all those wonderful fresh Jersey fruits and vegetables – but there is still a lot that can be enjoyed combining year-round veggies, pantry staples and some good quality fresh meats.
I had really nice success one night making up a quick Tuna Pasta Salad Niçoise. I had some wonderful Italian imported tuna in olive oil that I love using in pasta dishes, but I wanted something a little lighter and more salad-like. So I combined the idea of a Salad Niçoise with a warm pasta dish, and this recipe was the result. I really enjoyed it and I think you will too!
Next up was some easy Ground Pork Chili. I had a lot of ground pork to use up from our previous pig, so time to start getting creative so I can make room in the freezer for some fresh pork. This recipe was easy to make with some mixed beans I’d already cooked in my slow-cooker, canned tomatoes, and basic year-round veggies.
Last but definitely not least was this delicious Orecchiette with Broccoli Pesto and Ham. I’m honestly not a big pesto fan in general – due to my garlic intolerance I typically can’t eat it the way traditionally prepared. But with some pureed cooked broccoli stems, fresh basil and good olive oil, I was able to come up with something quite different from traditional pesto – and really delicious! I made it with a lovely Manouri cheese from the Cheese of the Month Club I belong to, but it should come out equally good if you use a nice Feta cheese as well. It was also a great way to use up the last bit of a beautiful big ham I’d cooked up for Superbowl Sunday.