We cooked a meal together for the first time after our first date: A Phish show in Atlanta. We were at our family’s lake house, and it primarily involved Jeff cooking, since I wasn’t as kitchen savvy back then. He cooked steaks, pasta, and sautéed vegetables. I sat on the counter and fell in love.
Today, even with a new baby, we hang on to our kitchen traditions. We light a candle, turn on some music, and have a Tito’s. We can turn a weeknight dinner at home into a date night pretty easily. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, but you have to commit to it. It is an opportunity to be creative and connect with each other and the ingredients. – Jill
4 ovals of naan bread (Nope, we don’t make our own, but you can if you want!)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. salt
3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan or pecorino cheese
1/2 cup good olive oil
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
5 oz. container fresh spinach
2 cups roasted chicken (grocery rotisserie works perfectly)
1 roasted red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
2 cups fresh baby bella mushrooms, sautéed
8 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 500 degrees (yes, that’s hot). Add all pesto ingredients, except olive oil, to a food processor, and process until basil and garlic are coarsely chopped. Add olive oil and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
Using tongs, place naan directly on oven rack for about two to three minutes, until warm. Remove from oven to a perforated sheet pan or a cookie sheet with rack insert. Spread each naan evenly with a thin layer of pesto. Dot with mozzarella and begin adding toppings as desired, ending with the goat cheese. Place back in oven for four to six minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is beginning to brown.
Remove to cutting board and allow to cool for five minutes. Leave whole, cut into strips or halves, and serve. Make it a meal by adding a simple salad dressed in oil and vinegar.