Shiitake Mushroom and Pesto Linguine with Spinach

I love mushrooms so much, that this recipe uses two kinds in this dish: your workaday standard creminis and somewhat-exotic shiitakes. These umami vessels are joined by healthy spinach, savory sun-dried tomatoes, and herbaceous, flavor-eous pesto. It’s all twirled together with pasta that makes for an easy-peasy, maximum flavor meal just when you need it.

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch
  • 3 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4 inch
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 4 oz. Baby Spinach
  • 5 oz. Linguine
  • 1 oz. Julienned Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Basil Pesto (See Cook’s Notes. Recipe Follows Below.)
  • 1 small plum or Roma tomato, sliced
  • 1 oz. Shredded Asiago Cheese
  • Salt  and Ground Black Pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

Bring 8 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a medium pot. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander. DO NOT RINSE THE PASTA. Set aside.

While pasta cooks, brown mushrooms. Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cremini mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms to the hot pan. Stir occasionally until well-browned, 4-5 minutes.

Add shallot to pan. Stir occasionally until tender, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the spinach reserved pasta cooking water, sun-dried tomatoes, a pinch of salt salt, and ¼ teaspoons black pepper. Cook until spinach wilts, 2-3 minutes.

Add the pasta and pesto to pan and stir to combine.

To serve, add the finished pasta to a large bowl, garnishing with Asiago and sliced tomatoes.

 

Bon appétit!

 

 

 

Cook’s Notes:

Pesto is a mouthful of bright brightness. You can buy it in a jar , found in  the refrigerator section of your grocery story, but there is nothing better than making it yourself. Fresh basil can be found in abundance at farmers’ markets in the summer. Just clean, take the stems off and throw the leaves in a food processor with nuts and garlic. Dribble in the oil and you’ve got a versatile sauce for pasta, chicken or fish.

Yields 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

  1. Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
  2. With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

 

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Chilean Sea Bass with Shiitake Mushroom Broth

 

 

This dish is the kind that, with a little experience, many good home cooks could assemble from scratch, without consulting a recipe. The aromatic triumvirate of garlic, ginger and scallions is matched with soy sauce, rice vinegar and fish sauce. Shiitake mushrooms give substance and flavor, cornstarch thickens and sesame oil adds a taste of toasty richness.

You can spoon the sauce over the poached fish, but it will also work just as well with grilled, pan-seared or broiled fish, or on stir-fried strips of chicken breast, slivers of pork or beef, shrimp or scallops. Steamed rice could help soak up the sauce as well.

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ⅓ pounds sea bass or gray sole fillets
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, or snipped chives (Optional)

 

 

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 175 o F. Place chicken stock in a wok or skillet, and bring to a simmer. Cut fish into pieces about 3 inches square, place in stock, and simmer until just cooked, about 5 minutes. Use spatula to transfer to heatproof platter, cover loosely with foil, and place in oven. Drain and strain stock, and reserve. Wipe out pan with a clean paper towel.

 

Heat peanut oil in pan. Add garlic, ginger and scallions. Sauté briefly, and add mushrooms. Sauté until wilted. Add soy sauce, vinegar and fish sauce. Cook 30 seconds, then add reserved stock. Bring to a simmer. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons cold water, and add, stirring. Simmer until sauce has thickened. Add sesame oil.

 

To serve, transfer fish to a shallow bowl and spoon mushroom sauce over the fish. Gransih with a scattering of with cilantro or chives. Serve hot.

 

 

 

 

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Grilled PattyPan Squash (Pâtisson Grillés)

Pattypan squash is one of the ancient, oft-forgotten vegetables that fortunately is making a comeback in market stalls and garden plots.

You’ve probably seen them popping up this summer in the farmer’s market or maybe in you local supermarket. And you more than likely passed on them because your have no idea what to do with them.


The pattypan is a variety of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) notable for its small size, round, slightly flat shallow shape, and scalloped edges They kind of remind you of a small toy spinning top. They are also known as a button squash or scallop squash in the United States. Meanwhile in France, the are known as pâtisson, where the word is derived from a Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mould.  However, contrary to appearances, it does not belong to the same variety as winter squash but to that of zucchini . They can be white, yellow, orange, or green, or even variegated in being both white and green or green and yellow. Pattypans have a texture similar to zucchini. And like zucchini they are best when they are picked very young and no longer than 3 to 4 inches in diameter. They are very firm in texture and have a crisp peppery flavor.

Pattypan is a good source of magnesium, niacin, and vitamins A and C. One cup contains approximately 20 to 30 calories and no fat. It is often sliced, baked, or coated and fried until golden brown, or simply boiled.

Here, I adapted a classic French recipe where you can roast and grill them and serve them with a beautiful lemony garlic sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste

For the Squash:
2 pounds medium/large pittypan squash
2 pounds large pattypan squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
To make the sauce, heat a cast-iron skillet over low heat. Add the olive oil. Add the garlic and fry until lightly golden brown. Stir in the lemon zest and the salt. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce into a pyrex measuring cup and set aside. Using paper towels, wipe the skill clean.

For the Squash:
Using the same cast-iron skillet, heat over high heat. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment.

Alternately, prepare a hot outdoor grill.

Slice the squash 3/4 inch thick and toss in a large bowl with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Sear in the hot pan for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until the surface is lightly browned, and transfer to a sheet pan. Place in the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn the pieces over and roast for another 5 minutes, until they are sizzling and tender all the way through. Remove from the heat.

If grilling, grill the pieces for about 5 minutes on each side, until they are tender all the way through and beginning to drip and grill marks are visible.

To serve, transfer the squash slices to a platter. Drizzle with the lemon garlic sauce and granish with fresh chopped parsley if desired. Serve hot or warm.

 

 

Notes on Choosing and Storing Pattypan Squash:
Choose your pattypan squash well:

Pattypan squash should be smooth and very firm, and the skin should not have spots.
Smaller pattypan squashes are better than bigger ones, as their flesh is tenderer.
Larger pattypan squashes are great for making stuffed squash.

Properly store your pattypan squash:

In the refrigerator: Store for two to three days in the vegetable drawer, as it will last less long than squashes that are in season in winter (winter squash, red kuri squash, butternut squash, etc.).

In the freezer: Blanch pattypan squash before freezing.

 

Zero Waste Tips:
Don’t throw away the patty pan squash seeds. Roast them in a pan or in the oven with salt or spices. They are delicious as a snack or in a salad.

Leftover squash is also great in salads or chopped up and thrown into frittatas or grain salads, so cook more than you need and enjoy using up the extras.

 

Source:

Pattypan Squash. (2020). Louis Bonduelle Foundation. Date Accessed: August 14, 2021. https://www.fondation-louisbonduelle.org/en/vegetable/pattypan-squash/.

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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