I was in Wisconsin’s beautiful North Woods last week, and as always when I travel, I looked for local food inspiration to bring to my kitchen and to you. The best thing I ate in the North Woods was an Olive Burger from The Bear in Stone Lake. This half-pound burger was topped with a generous helping of soft white cheese and a generous helping of sliced green olives. Other than high-quality meat and a fluffy toasted bun, that was all that was needed to make one of the best burgers I ever ate. I would recommend cream cheese to create this burger in your own kitchen, and some steak seasoning in your burger meat.
When I got home, I had to go to a get-together and didn’t have time to run to the store. So olives and cheese again were key players in helping me create a great dish with what I had on hand. I made the following pasta salad that was a unique blend of hearty chickpeas and sauteed vegetables.
- 1 (16 ounce) package pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped olives (I used a combination of canned black olives, and kalamata)
- 2 tablespoons minced oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons onions, chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup balsamic (or other red) vinegar
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to al dente package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the olives, oregano, parsley, onions and chickpeas. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl toss the pasta with the chickpea mixture. Add the vinegar, grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator. When ready to serve taste for seasoning and add more vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper if desired.
And since I was away during the end of the month, it is late… but still here! Please comment on this blog post to be entered to win July’s FREE cookbook giveaway of 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store. Recent month’s winners, we’re still waiting to hear your feedback, so please send it along in the form of a blog post comment or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy cooking everyone!