Saturday, March 31, 2007

How To Make Anything Delicious

March 31

When my first grandson was three months old his parents took him to Italy for the summer. A breast-fed baby, he had a wonderful time in many ways. Alison found a good pediatrician and the time came to introduce solid foods into the infanto's diet.

Get this: The first foods they recommended were olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Needless to say, he has grown to be a discerning 12-year-old with a taste for Italian food. He now lives in a little town in upstate New York but gets to travel to Italy often, lucky little devil.

Here's an Italian trick for making anything except dessert taste good. Crush or smack a few cloves of garlic and slowly bring to a simmer in about four tablespoons of good olive oil. I use extra virgin. If I have a fresh sage leaf or two, I add that. Thyme is also good. In an absolute pinch, dried herbs can be used, but always use fresh garlic. Let the seasonings soak in the warm oil for a while.

This can be tossed with any hot cooked pasta, and grated parmesan put on top. I also like to substitue drained beans, cooked by myself or the canned kind, rinsed and drained first. To be Italian, you should use cannelini beans, but I prefer navy beans and they're cheaper. A tomato, fresh or canned, can be added.

Simple and savory, it may be appropriate for baby's first food. It's nutritious and easy, and inhaling the aroma is like a trip to Italy! Almost.

1 comment:

tangerine said...

You know what would work well with this trick? Spinach! After steaming it in its own water, drain and put it in the pan with the garlic-infused olive oil. I'd put either chopped tomato or a squeeze of lemon juice on it and add a little parmesan just to be Italian.