More specifically, the basil pesto from Wegman’s olive bar. Nick and I buy it to spread on pizza, mix into pasta, eat from a spoon. And last Friday, when I just happened to be at Wegman’s, I figured I should pick some up for our dinner. To give you a bit of background, I would say that about 95% of our Friday evenings fall into one of these three categories:
1. Nick works until 8, gets home by 9, and we go out for Fancy Date Night (which usually means burgers, duck fat fries, and beer at Victoria Gastropub).
2. Nick has a gig, and I’m left to my own devices (which usually means cooking pasta at 10:30 pm when I realize I haven’t eaten anything).
3. Nick works until 8, gets home by 9, and we stay in, drink, and listen to records or watch silly videos of cats on YouTube.
If it’s the third category, it is likely that our dinner will consist primarily of bread and cheese. I don’t know what it is about Fridays…. Despite the fact that I usually stay home on Fridays (it’s supposed to be my day for reading, homework, and catching up on errands), I often have no energy and no inspiration to cook dinner. On more than one occasion I’ve walked out of Trader Joe’s with some asparagus, three different cheeses, bread, and sea salt brownies. (And if it was one of the Fridays Nick is not at home, I’d be satisfied with that.)
Last Friday was no exception. I went from the produce section to the bakery, the olive bar, and the seafood counter before returning back to produce and repeating the cycle. At least three times.
There was a moment of inspiration for making a pizza: pesto (of course), fresh tomatoes, more basil, goat cheese… Then I realized we had pizza earlier in the week (not that this would ever be a problem for Nick). I ended up with some tomatoes and mozzarella and plans to make a caprese salad. A loaf of bread had also managed to find its way to my basket, but I didn’t really want more cheese, so I wandered over to the olive bar to get some pesto. (Yes, I realize pesto has cheese in it, but if you saw the amounts of brie and – my favorite – Cambozola that Nick and I can consume in one sitting, you’d understand that the grated Parmesan in the pesto is fairly trivial.)
I limited myself to three items at the olive bar- pesto, a mix of Greek olives and feta (oops, more cheese), and marinated artichoke hearts.
The best part? An excuse to use the rectangular dishes I recently received as a shower gift.
Grilled turkey kielbasa rounded out the meal (I figure our placemats compensate for the lack of green vegetables on our plates).
A lot of caprese salad recipes only call for a drizzle of olive oil, but I love adding some balsamic vinegar. Including both orange and red tomatoes added some extra color (and consequently made me quite happy):