so….I think that cooking for one person is SO. HARD.

it’s more expensive, and sometimes it is cheaper to get something out.  or sometimes it is cheaper to eat cereal, or ramen, or cookies or ice cream.  none of these are super appropriate.

you have to learn to eat leftovers.  I have gotten so much better at this over the years.  but, you also have to be strategic with your leftovers, or you eat the same thing four days in a row, and never want to eat it again.

I like to cook for my friends.  or my family.  it is so much easier than cooking for myself.  and it’s easier to be motivated.

but, I’ve gotten better, and this is one of my go-to meals that is so easy not only to make for one person, but also to shop for one person.  it’s not super expensive, and you feel super legit for making it.  and you can even make it for two if you’ve got a dinner friend.  it’s vegetarian, which is never my objective, I just happen to like a lot of food without meat.  which is nice because meat can get pricey.  warning: if you are a really picky eater, you might not like this.  you have to really like leeks (hello!  everyone should), and you have to really like vinegar-y and mustard-y stuff.  I think if you took that out it wouldn’t be very good. also, disclaimer: I stole the idea from this from some website or blog a long time ago, I don’t remember where.  I know that I have changed it some, but it’s not original to me or anything.  anyhow.  here we go.

necessary ingredients:

1 leek
1 tomato
1 crusty roll / bread stuff
grainy mustard
butter or evoo
vinegar of your choosing
fancy grated cheese
salt & pepper

slice up a leek.  a little more than in this picture.  about to the dark green part.  (side note:  this knife says it is stainless.  not convincing, hampton forge.)aren’t leeks pretty?

but look out!  leeks are freakin dirty.  I’m kind of a lazy cook and don’t always care to wash my stuff (I know, this is bad), but you HAVE to wash your leeks.  rinse them really good.

melt a little butter (what I used here is WAY too much–I should pay attention to stuff like this–a teaspoon or two would do, this was a whole tablespoon) in a little skillet (this is a fun time to use a little teeny skillet that came in your set of pots and pans that you never use because it’s so tiny)

and throw in the leeks.

while they’re cooking, add some vinegar.

my choice tonight was red wine vinegar, man I love this stuff.  apple cider vinegar would work too, or just straight up white.  I also love rice wine vinegar, but I don’t know if it would work out so great, I’ve never tried it here.

saute them until they have lost all their prettiness.

set them aside and grab your ridiculous purple knife.  slice up a nice crusty roll.  this happens to be ciabatta (or ciabatta-bing!) that I got at hy-vee.  if I’m feeling rich sometimes I’ll go to whole foods, and they have these awesome crusty rolls you can buy one at a time.  while you’re at it, slice up the rest of the rolls so you’ll have them for lunch this week (I like to make”lunchables for adults.”  I think it’s funny to do that.)

then use your ridiculous purple knife to slice up a tomato.  these also came from hy-vee (on the vine), and I’ll be if they’re not the best tomatoes I’ve had in a long time.  I love tomatoes, but I usually have them left off at restaurants and such because the quality of tomatoes for the past two years has gone down the crapper.  I was very impressed with these.  sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and eat some of the slices now (YUM).

now grab a crappy old cookie sheet, put a piece of foil on it, and spray a little pam or evoo on it (do you have a misto?  man, I just love my misto.  it’s especially great for sweet potato fries from the freezer).  put your rolls on it and grab some grainy mustard.  I think stone ground mustard is God’s gift just for me.  I could literally eat it with a spoon, enjoying each little seed like candy. is this normal? inglehoffer’s is my favorite.  it will change your life.

put a crap ton on each roll.  like a CRAP TON.

then, dump all the leeks on top.

top each one with a slice or two of tomato.  a lot of times I use roma tomatoes, so I’ll put two or three slices on each roll.

now cover each one with some fancy cheese.  this time I used some asiago.  again, if I’m feeling spendy I’ll get a nice mix of fancy hard chese from whole foods (and honestly if you look they have some reasonable options), but this kind came in a tub from hy-vee.  I had a little shaved parm leftover from something last week, so I used a little of that too.  really, I think any white cheese that’s on the hard side would work good here.

now, stick the whole shebang under the broiler, on a rack closest to the top.  does the broiler freak you out?  be careful, don’t catch your oven mitts on fire.  I always think the broiler looks like some sort of alien space ship. just me?  okay.

and…WATCH CLOSELY.  check it every minute until it is done to your liking.  don’t forget about it and go change the laundry.  it could look fine one minute, and 30 seconds later it is totally black.  watch the edges of the rolls, they’ll be the best indicator.  mine could have gone a little longer that this, but I was HUNGRY so this was good enough.

and there you have it.  what are some things you like to cook for one?