Monday, April 30, 2012

North Fork Bounty - Farmers Market Veggie Pasta

Our recent trip to the North Fork of Long Island was just the thing to inspire some light, farm to table spring dishes. 

For just a brief weekend jaunt, we got a lot done. 

A trip to one of our favorite Long Island wineries,  

Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue, NY, Photo: NK

followed in close succession by the purchase of several bottles of our favorite buttery Chard:

Peconic Bay Chardonnay - La Barrique, 2009, Photo: NK

Next, a quick game of mini golf then lunch at a really yummy retro-diner. Lobster roll, please!

The Modern Snack Bar, Aquebogue, NY, Photo: NK

But our day would not have been complete without several stops at the North Fork's numerous farm stands.

Photo: NK

Most everything looked delicious, but a few veggies really stood out. 

The Take:
MUSHROOMS - Maitake (also known as Hen of the Woods) and Beech Mushrooms

Photo: NK 

Beech and Maitake Mushroom Varieties, Photo: NK

I've been wanting to check out Spring Garlic for some time now. Also known as Green Garlic, Spring Garlic is basically garlic in a younger state that is harvested prior to maturity. It will include a large green stalk and look a bit like a leek or majorly overgrown scallion. Both the bulb end and the greens are edible and can be cooked in the same manner you would a leek or scallion. Spring Garlic is generally milder and less pronounced in flavor than regular garlic, yet a bit more pungent than green onions or scallions.

Now for the challenge:
To create a light pasta dish using all my farm fresh produce, and maybe give me an excuse to open my Chardonnay :) 

Here's what I came up with:

Whole Wheat Fusilli, Spring Garlic, Mushrooms, Asparagus Coins & Oven Dried Tomatoes
Loosely adapted from the FruitGuys Almanac
Serves 2 

1/2 Lb Whole Wheat Fusilli or other pasta of your choice
2 large stalks of Spring Garlic
5-7 Ounces Mixed Fancy Mushrooms (we used Beech and Hen of the Woods aka Maitake) 
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon salted Butter
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons White Wine
4 Tablespoons minced Chives plus several whole Chives reserved for garnish. 
1 pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flake 
Kosher Salt, 1 Tablespoon for pasta water plus more for seasoning
Black Pepper
Optional pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

*Asparagus Coins (Optionally prepare ahead, recipe below)
*Oven Dried Tomatoes ( Make at least one day ahead, recipe below)

Before you begin, prepare your Asparagus Coins (the day before or day of) and set aside the Oven Dried Tomatoes you prepared the day before. Recipes for both are listed if you scroll all the way down. 

Set a large pasta pot to boil with 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt. Once boiling, prepare Pasta according to the box instructions.

Chop the white bulb ends of the Spring Garlic off. Mince the white bulbs until you have about 2 Tablespoons. Now, slice the green part of the stalks crosswise into rings until you have about 3 Tablespoons. Set aside 1 Tablespoon of the green parts to use as garnish when the dish is complete.

Spring Garlic, Photo: NK

In a saute pan, heat 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil and 1 Tablespoon Butter over medium flame until Butter is melted. Add 2 Tablespoons minced Garlic (white parts) and 2 Tablespoons Sliced Garlic stalk (green parts). Saute until garlic becomes aromatic, about 2 minutes, taking care not to let the garlic burn. Add Mushrooms and Wine and sauté over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms have softened and have created some moisture. Turn off the heat. 

When Pasta has cooked, drain fully (reserving some cooking liquid) and return to pasta pot. To the pasta pot, stir in the Mushrooms, Lemon Juice, Minced Chives, and one or two Tablespoons of reserved Pasta Water. Toss the contents well and season generously with Salt and Pepper to taste. Add the optional Crushed Red Pepper. Finally, stir in the Oven Dried Tomatoes and Asparagus Coins. 

To serve, scoop pasta into bowls, sprinkle with grated parmesan and the reserved garlic greens you set aside. Optionally garnish with a few whole chives. 

Whole Wheat Fusilli with Spring Garlic, Mushrooms, Asparagus & Oven Dried Tomatoes, Photo: NK

*Asparagus Coins
Serves 2
6-8 stalks of Asparagus, bottoms trimmed, tops cut off. 

Asparagus Coins, Photo: NK
Simply line stalks up and slice them into 1/4 inch coins.  
To cook, toss in boiling water for 60 seconds before draining and blanching in cold water. 
Season as desired.

Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored in the fridge in an air-tight container. You can even skip the cooking and serve raw if you like. 

Asparagus coins are great in pastas, mixed into rice, or even as an addition to soups and salads.

*Oven Dried Tomatoes
2 Servings 
1 Lb or more medium or large Tomatoes of your choice, for this recipe Plum or Campari would work best.
Tomatoes Ready to Cook, Photo: NK
Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 250. 
Slice Tomatoes to about 1/4 or 1/3 inch thick. Just be sure to keep them uniformly thick. 
Place Tomatoes on a wire rack over a baking sheet with sides.
Drizzle with olive oil and top with salt, a small pinch of sugar, and black pepper.
Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours until dried and wrinkled. 

Can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. They will lose some of their dryness but will still taste delicious. 

Wonderful tossed into pastas, as a pizza topping, delicious on their own, or even as a crostini or sandwich topping. Can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. They will lose some of their dryness but will still taste delicious. 

Oven Dried Tomatoes, Photo: NK

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment