Thursday, January 20, 2011

ode to leftovers

Sometimes leftovers are better than the original meal. We all know this is true for certain dishes like curry or mole--overnight the vegetables and meat marinate and fully absorb all the spices, making the meal infused with richer flavors the next day. But personally I enjoy a lot of the meals that I make better the next day. This might be partly due to the fact that I'm always more hungry at lunchtime than dinnertime (a remnant of my Botswana lifestyle where the main large meal of the day happened in the afternoon), but I think it's also because many dishes just get tastier after the ingredients have had a night to get settled in together. This was certainly the case for the baked pasta I made last night. I followed a recipe for a cheese and spinach whole-wheat pasta casserole, flecked with toasted almonds and lemon zest, from my favorite blog, 101 Cookbooks, and as we munched on it last night, felt slightly disappointed. It was good, but certainly not show-stopping.

However, I re-heated it for lunch today and found it much more exciting. The cheese had somehow gotten oozier, the spinach and pasta had a deep lemony aroma from the grated lemon zest, the toasted almonds were still crunchy, and overall the individual ingredients had melded together just right. So this blog entry is a shout-out to the deliciousness of leftovers! The actual recipe can be found on Heidi Swanson's blog at and my oh-so-cool lunch bag can be found at Monterey Bay Company, my all-time favorite store.

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