Contorno di verdura (side dish of vegetables) is something that I make quite often. There are many different versions of this dish that you can make and, as you will see, it goes with any main course.
1. Buy a variety of veggies:
• Brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc.
• White, sweet potatoes or both
• Red onion, sliced
2. Cut everything into the same size pieces. This helps the entire dish to be done cooking at the same time.
3. Toss all of the above with oil: sesame, truffle, or olive oil. Use the type of oil that complements the meal.
4. Add cracked pepper, garlic salt/powder plus a lot of whatever dried seasoning you wish. For example: dill, oregano, rosemary, basil, etc. Top with a little chili powder, paprika or both.
5. Mix well, bake 350 degrees for 1 hour or less. Test the potatoes because they take the longest to cook.
I serve this dish in the casserole it was cooked. It is a great presentation & makes for easy clean up.
Every relationship has “bad days”. I recommend preparing this dish on a day that you are crazy mad, or “pazzo”! Chicken is very versatile which is why it works well for this recipe. I suggest buying a Family Pack of chicken breasts and freeze them in 1 to 2 per pack so that you always have some on hand when the mood strikes.
1. Defrost, rinse chicken and put into roasting pan.
2. Over season the chicken with garlic powder, oregano and black pepper or any spices you wish to get rid of because they are past their prime.
3. Add 1 or 2 spices that do NOT complement the dish. Add dill. Why?? Dill goes better on fish not chicken. Or add celery seed. What?!?? That’s for deviled eggs and it just sticks in your teeth & has little taste. Perfect! Use a lot of it!! How about dry mustard? Great idea! You’ll never use that all up. I don’t know why I even have it. Get my point?
4. Now go to the fridge and take out the first 4 items that you see. For example: cheese, tomatoes, carrots, orange juice (or any juice). Chop the carrots & tomatoes, throw them into the roasting pan and pour juice over everything. If cheese is grated put that on top; if it is sliced just plop it on top of chicken.
5. Turn on the oven, set it to 350 degrees, set the timer for 1 hour and leave a note: “dinner in oven”.
6. Leave the house. Go shopping, grab a drink with a friend, catch a movie, whatever. You will come home refreshed, your husband/boyfriend will be very grateful you even made dinner in your maddened state and you can turn the page to a new day.
You may be thinking why cook at all when you are mad? Well, that is a very Italian way to handle your man. As Zia Pepino (a.k.a. Pepi) would say: The bed & the kitchen, keep him happy in those two places, he’ll never wander! I made this dish many a time for my husband. I must admit he always loved it, no matter how I tried to botch it up. Some times I even felt sorry for him. Of course, he is now my ex-husband but our parting had nothing to do with my cooking.
photo: MamamiaRita via iPad