Cooking Up SIMPLY Essentials Class

First Class 2017

Light was low and coming in through the west facing windows as the globe lights came on inside the Market House of the Nashville Farmers Market. With smiles on their faces, the six women walked in, eager to cook and eat good food. The group discussed the meal to be prepared over a glass of wine. After a bit of planning of who would cook which part of the meal, the kitchen activity began.

Wednesday, September 13th, was the first class in a series of nine classes held at the Nashville Farmers Market. With this class, the focus was on developing a variety of cooking skills: chopping, slicing, roasting, and baking, while cooking without a recipe. Learning to use your sense of taste, smell, sight & even touch, makes the cooking process more creative and emotional, and less rigid.

Finding the end of the summer seasonal ingredients from Smiley's and Swaffords of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potatoes and kale, a simple meal was created: vegetable lasagne with pasta & kale pesto.

The vegetables were sliced (only the sweet potatoes & eggplant were peeled) and coated with salt & pepper & drizzled heavily with olive oil, and then roasted until soft. While the vegetables were roasting, a sauce from the  Roma tomatoes was made. A heavy drizzle of olive oil was heated in a sauce pan, then adding the chopped garlic and the chopped tomatoes; this was brought to a boil and then reduced to a simmer. Once cooked, the vegetables were layered: eggplant, sweet potatoes, zucchini & squash with a third of the tomato sauce & several spoonfuls of ricotta cheese; a second layer was done the same way; the final layer was sauce on top with a handful of grated parmesan cheese. This was baked for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees or until bubbling and browned on top.

The kale was used to make a pesto with pine nuts, olive oil & grated parmesan cheese all placed in a food processor; this was tossed with pasta.

There was laughter and tasting and more laughter. Dinner was served and enjoyed by all.

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Classes meet the second Wednesday of every month.

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