that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘sun-dried tomatoes’

it’s like pizza, but not

Posted by culinaryneophyte on November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving is really this week?! I refuse to believe this year is almost over, and therefore, I am sharing something very un-TurkeyDay-like while I can: Italian-roasted chickpeas. These little babies taste a lot like pizza and suffice as a meal or a snack. Give them a try!

italian roasted chickpeas

Warning: I went complete eyeball on this one, so no measurements. Just follow your heart (and taste along the way) and you’ll be happily surprised.

Combine sun dried tomatoes, EVOO, minced garlic, a little bit of parmesan cheese, a little bit of tomato paste, Italian herbs and a squirt of Dijon mustard. You can either use a food processor or an immersion blender (what I did) to blend into a paste.

Drain and dry a can of chickpeas on a sheet for at least 30 minutes. Next, coat chickpeas in the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for a little less than an hour, making sure to flip every 20 minutes or so. The chickpeas will get crispier as they cool.

Total time? 8 minutes prep, 25-30 minutes bake.
Cost? $1 chickpeas, $3.29 sun dried tomatoes, $2.59 parmesan cheese, 79 cents tomato paste
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out of 10. I love the taste of these and was happy to snack on them while I prepared the main portion of my dinner. While I was in Chicago last month, I had fried chickpeas, and while obviously these are a lot healthier, I still couldn’t get the beautiful crispiness of those out of my head. Only other knock here is that they don’t keep as well as leftovers; when I reheated them the next day, the flavor was still good, but the consistency suffered a bit.

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sunshine and picnics

Posted by culinaryneophyte on August 30, 2011

So I survived the hurripocalypse with little incident. I know there was some widespread damage farther down the East Coast, and my heart goes out to those affected, but in New Jersey, Irene was severely overestimated. Shouldn’t complain, though; I had a lot of food in my fridge and freezer I would have been pretty upset about losing. But seriously, I hope everyone is safe, and that those affected this weekend are getting back to routine.

I don’t have a good segue for this recipe other than it reminds me of picnics and sunshine, and that’s what we’re left with in the wake of Hurricane Irene. I give you: pesto and sun-dried tomato tuna salad (adapted from one of my favs, The Curvy Carrot)!

Like Shanon, I’ve always been a plain tuna salad kind of girl — canned tuna, little bit of mayo and some chopped celery — but I was feeling a little adventurous one afternoon, and ended up with a heavenly little lunch.

The one minor hitch in the plan was the cost. I wished I had a basil plant at home. I didn’t have pine nuts in the house either, but knew I couldn’t make a pesto without them. For the record, pine nuts are expensive. And for the record, they are not easily located in a supermarket. I spent literally 15 minutes walking up and down aisles before finally breaking down and asking a ShopRite employee. Looked in canned vegetables, olives, olive oil, International foods… Nothing. You know where they were? In the baking aisle. Sigh. By the time I got there, I was too proud to not buy a jar, despite them being $6 for a 1.75 ounces. Eesh.

Still, it’s worth it, and it’ll motivate you to make pesto more often! Helpful hint: Keep pine nuts stored in the fridge or freezer; otherwise, the high oil content quickly makes them turn rancid. (And at $6/jar, you want these babies to last.)

FOR PESTO BASIL
1/2 c. basil
1 clove of garlic
2 tbl. pine nuts
1/4 c. olive oil
1/8 c. Parmesan cheese

In a food processor (I used Magic Bullet), combine basil, garlic and pine nuts. Add olive oil, scraping down mixture from sides as necessary. Once done processing, add Parmesan cheese.

FOR TUNA SALAD
♦1 can tuna, in water
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. basil pesto
2 tbs. mayo
salt & pepper to taste
Croissants

Combine drained tuna, sun-dried tomatoes and mayo in a small bowl. Add basil pesto, salt and pepper. Serve on croissant or bread of your choice. Makes two sandwiches.

Total time? 15 minutes.
Cost? $6 pine nuts (enough for many more pestos), $2 sun-dried tomatoes from the farmer’s market, $2.50 bunch of basil, $1 can of tuna, $1 for two croissants.
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. The flavor in this tuna salad blew me away. Somehow, every delicious bite seemed new, which is pretty hard to achieve. The croissant is a must, in my opinion, but if you have some tuna salad left over, it’d be great on some crackers. Every time I think of this sandwich, I want to go on a picnic. Don’t let the cost of the ingredients deter you — this is a must-make!


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