Wednesday, April 3, 2013

spinach fettucine with baked feta, peas and breadcrumbs + Vegetable Literacy giveaway!

Time for another cookbook giveaway! I'm so excited to share this one with y'all. Deborah Madison's new Vegetable Literacy is a total triumph. In it, you'll not only find fabulous recipes for any and every kind of vegetable you can imagine, but she also explains the relationship between vegetables and how that knowledge can lead to perfectly paired flavors in cooking. I have learned SO much already!

Aside from all of the amazing information, there are of course tons of awesome recipes (over 300!). Some I'm looking forward to trying include:

Griddled Artichokes with Tarragon Mayonnaise
Braised Endive with Gorgonzola
Smoky Kale and Potato Cakes
Fragrant Onion Tart
Carrot Almond Cake with Ricotta Cream

I mean seriously, how good do those recipes sound?!

The recipe below is so simple and lovely. In the book, Madison uses ricotta rather than feta, but 1. I had a giant block of feta that needed to be used (that's what happens when you can't stop cooking from the Jerusalem cookbook) and 2. husband is not a huge fan of ricotta. Feta worked beautifully and gave it an excellent tang, but I imagine that ricotta is absolutely divine.

***Now for the giveaway details! I'm thrilled to have an extra copy of Vegetable Literacy to give away to one reader! To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite vegetarian dish - could be a side, a main course, a salad, an appetizer - whatever! (Feel free to link to recipes if it's something you found or have online.) I'll choose a winner at random next Friday (April 12). Good luck!

Spinach Fettucine with Baked Feta, Peas and Breadcrumbs (adapted from Vegetable Literacy)
serves 2

you'll need:
olive oil
1 cup feta cheese
3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1/2 lb. spinach fettucine (or pasta of your choice)
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup onion, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 cup peas
1/2 cup water
grated zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a small baking dish with olive oil and swirl to coat. Pack the feta into the dish, drizzle a little olive oil over the surface, and bake 20 minutes, or until the cheese has begun to set and brown on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle bread crumbs over the cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are browned and crisp. Set aside to cool while you make the rest of the dish.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and rosemary and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the peas, water, and lemon zest. Simmer until the peas are bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, toss the pea mixture and the pasta together. Divide the feta between 2 plates. Spoon pasta and peas over the top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan and pine nuts to finish. Enjoy!


  1. My favorite vegetarian dish has to be Huevos Rancheros. As a native New Mexican, my family ate this weekly; it never gets old! The best part of the dish is the homemade red or green chile sauce that simmers all day to add a smoky, roasted flavor to the meal. It's delicious!

  2. Tacos! The filling could be sweet potatoes or roasted veggies or a salad with black beans and avocados... but once it's placed inside a tortilla, I'm in, haha! : )

  3. That looks delicious! My favorite vegetable dishes are ones with avocados or roasted veggies.

  4. This looks wonderful! I love your addition of peas! I might be a bit obsessed with them... ;)

    1. Thanks love! Yes- loving them right now! So springy!

  5. This looks delicious! Does it count if my favorite vegetarian dish is spaghetti? ;) I just love pasta and tomato sauce so much!

    1. Ummm totally counts! I'm a pasta freak!

  6. This looks amazing! My favorite vegetarian dish would be anything with the combination of black beans and sweet potatoes-yum!

    1. Thanks Dawn! Sweet potatoes and black beans- great combo!!!

  7. That's a tough question. I love vegetables almost "plain" or just roasted or lightly dressed with olive oil, salt & pepper. But I'd say soup would be my favorite - bean, lentil, butternut squash, minestrone, etc. Love them all!

  8. Spanish Menestra is my favorite vegetarian dish, although I make it with a tiny bit of pancetta! That's optional though!:)

  9. I have to go to my Asian roots and say that my favorite vegetarian dish is a dim sum staple called lau bok gau (Chinese turnip cakes). They are pan-fried and topped with some soy sauce paste. Ooh, now I'm getting hungry!

    1. Wow! Me too - those sound to die for!

  10. You're right - all those recipes sound amazing! My favorite vegetarian dish is something I make all the time and it's amazing:

    Red pepper pasta with avocado cream sauce

    1. That sounds SO good, Ashley! I love every single thing in that recipe! :)

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