-- Robert Burns
Mr Burns certainly has a point, although probably not a spellchecker. After my recent adventure with Italian in a wok, I was up for some more. I knew I wouldn't have whole lot of time to cook today so I decided on a simple tomato and garlic saute with fresh basil served over pasta.
When I went down to the local megamart to get the ingredients, I found no basil! While I have planted some, all those plants contain at the moment are mouse-ear sized leaves. Not going to work. So I rethought the plan. Instead of the basil, how about some dried Italian seasoning and black olives? OK, that sounds pretty good.
So it's off to the olive aisle. And, you're probably seeing a theme developing by now, no black olives. Oh they had those dark-as-night olives, but I'm not going to feature those in a rustic pasta dish. Hidden away in sauce sure, but not here. As I scan the shelves, hoping to find a lurking jar, I notice some marinaded green olives. Hmm, that might just work. Drain the brine and use the remaining spices as seasoning. Eureka!
And that's what I did. Heated a wok over medium heat, not high you don't want to burn the olive oil, added a generous amount of the oil and sauteed some shredded garlic for about a minute. Then I added some halved cherry tomatoes and cooked them for about three minutes. Finally I added the drained olives and cooked the whole thing for another couple of minutes.
So what's the moral here? Other than my local megamart needs to stock the shelves better? Being flexible and combining simple, flavorful ingredients can bring you tasty food in very little time. Now I just need to figure out how to get my basil to grow faster.