The other day Rob & I went thrift shopping to find a friend a gag house-warming gift. Of course I, being the cookbook fiend that I am, had to browse the book section.
The one in the middle is my new prized possession. “The Art of Creole Cookery” was printed in 1962 and serves as a relic of old creole cooking. There are notes of historical significance at the beginning of each section and the book is an instructional guide on some long-lost cooking. Absolutely brilliant.
The colorful one on the right I have yet to delve into. I’ve never really cooked anything of Hungarian descent (except maybe this) so I’ll be treading into new waters when I dive into this book. I’m fully prepared, though.
And can you guess how much all of this amazing cookbooks cost?
$4. Yep. $4.
The Creolo cookery book fetches $15 on eBay. I haven’t looked up the rest (which probably don’t go for much more) but can you believe that?? These cookbooks teach you so much about classic Americana cooking, the one true ORIGINAL cuisine of the USA (creole/Cajun), and the eclectic style of Eastern European cookery.
These cookbooks are priceless museums of the way we eat.
While sifting through these books I was whipping up a concoction for my weekday lunches. I found this recipe in a recent issue of Food Network magazine and was rather pleased with the way it turned out.
This is a great recipe for Meatless Monday’s—and pretty tasty at that.
- 4 portobello mushroom caps (BIG mushroom caps!)
- 1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 6 Campari tomatoes (small, round, vine-ripened)
- 3.5 TBS. olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary
- Salt & pepper
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 TBS. balsamic vinegar
- 4 whole wheatpita pockets
- Muenster cheese
- Baby arugula
- Grated Parmesan
- Lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Ross the mushroom caps, onion, and tomatoes with 1 TBS. Olive oil, Rosemary, sat and pepper. Roast until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Combine half of the chickpeas with 1 tbs. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Using mortar & pestle or potato masher, mash the chickpea mixture until crumbly and slightly smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Spread on pita and top with Muenstar and Parmesan. Drain liquid from veggies and arable lengthwise down the pita.
3. Arrange pitas on a baking sheet and toast in oven (still set to 425) until cheese melts, about 4-5 minutes. Whisk remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Top toasted pitas with arugula, dress with lemon juice and balsamic/oil dressing. Add remaining whole chickpeas. Season with salt & pepper.
I took too long to take a picture–I was hungry. Hence the bite marks.
Flavor Profile: Sweet, tangy, and that unbelievable roasted flavor—wow. Who knew roasting mushrooms, tomatoes and onions could taste so good. The muenster cheese was a solid choice; creamy yet subtle tang.
Skill Level: Medium. You need patience to put all the pieces of this flatbread puzzle together. Most people would say, “screw it!” And just slap together a PB&J sandwich but trust me. You’ll find a whole new world in these ingredients.
Versatility: You can make this flatbreads however you like: switch out the pita for naan, use tahini instead of cheese, use whichever veggies you like for roasting. The world is quite literally your oyster.
End Score: A. A sturdy lunch to take with you to work. Just put all the ingredients in separate containers and assemble during your break.