Cook the Cover – I Think We’re Getting Good at This!

Well, it’s time for another Cook the Cover Challenge.  This is our fifth Cook the Cover, and I think we’ve done pretty good so far!  Dare I say that this challenge has been easier than I thought?  Or did I just jinx myself?  This month’s Cook the Cover – Cooking Light magazine was a fairly simple one, and healthy, and colorful.  The cover of the July issue of Cooking Light magazine featured a warm pasta salad with tomatoes and eggplant.  This dish says summer!

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Cook the Cover – Cooking Light Magazine

The warm pasta salad with tomatoes and eggplant didn’t have a long ingredient list, and I only had to shop for two items.  We don’t cook with eggplant a lot, so off to the store we headed.  Since we don’t use a lot of eggplant, the preparation and cooking of it was a first for the kids.

ingredients for cook the cover cooking light

Simple ingredients usually make the most flavorful dishes!

The recipe called for burrata cheese, which we couldn’t find in our market.  And after a little research online, burrata cheese is a little expensive.  We substituted fresh mozzarella and had no complaints.  Other ingredients rounding out the dish were green beans (we used frozen), penne or fusilli pasta, minced garlic, cherry tomatoes and fresh thyme.

This recipe didn’t take a very long time to make, only 20 minutes!  We love those kind of recipes!  While the pasta was boiling, the veggies were cooking in another pan.  Get ready, once you add minced garlic to the vegetables, your whole house will start smelling like an Italian restaurant.  If your family isn’t helping you out in the kitchen, they will be showing up very soon!

The pasta is cooking in cook the cover cooking light magazine

The warm pasta salad is starting to come together.

For this recipe, the green beans were actually cooked with the pasta in the boiling water.  The beans were added to the pasta pot when there was about 3 minutes of cooking time left.  Super easy!  Don’t forget to save some pasta water to thicken the final dish.

Once everything is combined, the pasta salad is plated and then you add the good stuff.  The cheese goes on top, along with fresh thyme and seasonings.  I also drizzled a little olive oil over the pasta for a little something extra.

putting the cheese on the pasta salad cook the cover cooking light

Don’t leave the kids out of all the fun!

This warm pasta salad with tomatoes and eggplant was as delicious as it looked!  When vegetables are cooked during the height of their season, you are in for a tasty meal!  We’ll definitely cook this pasta salad again, and I’m already thinking of a few variations….bacon, grilled chicken, asparagus.  Yum!

The final result of the cook the cover challenge cooking light

The final result! I declare this challenge a success!

The Cook the Cover Challenge

This monthly cook the cover challenge is fun in so many ways.  First there is the element of surprise, because you don’t know what you are going to be making.  Then, you have to read the recipe and take on the challenge of a possible new cooking technique, or maybe you get to try a new ingredient or two.  Finally, you get the satisfaction of the final meal and knowing that yes, you are a pretty darn good cook!

Read about our past cook the cover experiences:

Next Month’s Cook the Cover

It’s summer!  We love eating, cooking, and grilling all summer long!  For the next Cook the Cover, I’m going to cook whatever is on the cover of the August issue of Food Network Magazine.    I challenge your family to pick up the August issue of Food Network Magazine and join us in cooking the cover!

Need some cooking inspiration?  How about some help in the kitchen?  Get your family together and cook the cover!  Each month we pick a food magazine, sight unseen, and cook the cover!  #thatwasafirst #foodfirsts #cookthecover #pastasalad #cookinglight

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