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Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

Spaghetti with Prawns and Arugula - photo from foodily.com

Spaghetti with Prawns and Arugula – photo from foodily.com

Before we begin, how about a brief lesson in the etymology of the word, arugula?  Lately I’ve been using a lot of arugula and although I don’t necessarily think of it as a winter green, it keeps popping up in my recipes or salads.  I think maybe it’s that in the summer and especially in The Garden State, your options for locally grown red and green leaf lettuce are there for the picking.  And there is a heartiness to this densely dark, peppery green that is so perfect for my fav winter salad of arugula, sliced oranges, sweet onion rings, a couple of cherry tomatoes and nicoise olives all drizzled with the best EV olive oil in the house.  Sprinkle some coarse salt, basil and oregano on the top and there you have a great salad perfect for these cold and gray days – think citrus!

OK now for the origin of the word:  What we refer to as Arugula is known as Rocket in England and among many Italian-Americans, ruccola.  The Calabresan word for this green leaf is arucola and since so many of Italian-Americans can trace their roots to southern Italy, it seems likely we have Americanized it into Arugula.  Across the sea, in northern Italy it’s known as ruchetta which eventually worked its way over the Alps into France and became ruquette and once it crossed the English Channel, it became rocket!

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb spaghetti

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

EV olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 dried red chillis, crumbled

1 lb of peeled raw prawns

1 small wineglass of white wine

2 heaping TBS of tomato puree or 6 sun-dried tomatoes blitzed in a blender

juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 handfuls of rocket, roughly chopped

** a lug is a pour of olive oil; when the bottle makes the first glug sound, that’s a lug.

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to directions

Meanwhile heat 3 good lugs** of olive oil in a large braising pan or skillet and toss in the garlic and the chillis. As the garlic begins to color, add the prawns and sauté them for a minute.  Add the white wine and tomato purée and simmer for a couple of minutes.

When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, squeeze in the lemon juice, add half the chopped rocket, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce a bit, and correct the seasoning.  Divide between 4 plates and sprinkle with the grated lemon zest and the rest of the rocket leaves.

Recipe from Jamie Oliver.com

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You’re going to want to “catch” this fresh green sauce, so I’m suggesting you use fusilli because the sauce will cling to the ridges in the spiral cut pasta.  This is a quick and easy weeknight dinner, the whole process should take about 35 minutes!  Orrechiette or penne rigate would also work well.

Photo from Martha Stewart EveryDay Food

Photo from Martha Stewart EveryDay Food

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch spinach (about 1 lb) trimmed and washed

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

3 TBS EV olive oil

1 TBS finely grated lemon zest

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 lb fusilli

1/4 cup shaved pecorino cheese (1 oz) for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Add spinach and 1 TBS water to a large skillet set over medium-high.  Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.  In a food processor, combine spinach, walnuts, oil and lemon zest.  Process until mixture forms a smooth paste, scraping down bowl as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.  Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta.  Return pasta to pot and add pesto, tossing to combine and adding enough pasta water to create a sauce that coats pasta.  Transfer to a serving plate, top with pecorino, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s EveryDay Food March 2011

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Martha Stewart Living 2005

Martha Stewart Living 2005

This is a versatile dish that is seasonless;  It is as good cold as a pasta salad as it is warm for a weeknight supper.  This is a great vegetarian pasta with some added health benefit from the whole wheat pasta.  I have to admit, I just can’t rave about whole wheat pasta, I don’t like it.  Maybe I have to force myself to eat it consistently and perhaps then I will appreciate its flavor.  Flavor? Hah, I don’t think it has much but then again I am a big fan of Barilla pasta.  So either follow the recipe to the letter or do I as often do, which is mix the whole wheat shells with regular shells – hey it only makes the dish more interesting!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup frozen shelled edamame

10 oz asparagus trimmed and cut into 2 1/2″ pieces

1 lb. whole wheat shell-shaped pasta

2 TBS plus 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot finely chopped

1/3 cup white wine

Finely grated  zest of 1 lemon, plus 3TBS fresh lemon juice (1 lemon total)

2 1/2 tsp coarse salt

2 cups baby arugula (about 1 oz)

2 oz yellow grape tomatoes or other cherry-type tomatoes, halved (1 cup)

2 TBS freshly grated ricotta salata

2 TBS chopped fresh chives

Freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cook edamame and asparagus in boiling water until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

Bring large pot of water to boil, add pasta, cook until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.

Heat 2 tsp oil in large skillet or braising pan over med heat.  Add shallots, cook stirring occasionally until translucent, about 4 minutes..  Add wine, bring mixture to a boil.  Cook until liquid is reduced by half.  Add lemon juice, edamame, asparagus, pasta and 1 cup reserved liquid.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt.  Toss well.  Add arugula and tomatoes, toss.  Top with ricotta salata and chives.  Drizzle with remaining 2 TBS olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Season with pepper.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living 2005

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This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

LEMONS

Yeah, yeah, we all know; “Make lemonade”

But what if you’re not thirsty?  What if it’s a cold day in March and really all you want is a cup of hot coffee?  And what if your mother, best friend, grandmother, business associate, sent you a bag of lemons from Florida?  Mmmmm why didn’t they send oranges or grapefruit?  Oh well, what to do?

1.  MENTAL HEALTH- (especially in February)

Lemon water can also prep up your mood and relieve you from depression and stress. Long distance walkers and world travelers as well as explorers look upon the lemon as a Godsend. When fatigue begins, a lemon is sucked through a hole in the top. Quick acting medicine it is, giving almost unbelievable refreshments.

2. COOKING CAULIFLOWER

Cauliflower tend to turn brown with even the slightest cooking. You can make sure the white vegetables stay white by squeezing a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice on them before heating.

3. REFRESH CUTTING BOARDS

No wonder your kitchen cutting board smells! After all, you use it to chop onions, crush garlic, and prepare fish. To get rid of the smell and help sanitize the cutting board, rub it all over with the cut side of half a lemon or wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle.

4. KEEP INSECTS OUT OF THE KITCHEN

You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren’t welcome. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.

5. KEEP GUACAMOLE GREEN

You’ve been making guacamole all day long for the big party, and you don’t want it to turn brown on top before the guests arrive. The solution: Sprinkle a liberal amount of fresh lemon juice over it and it will stay fresh and green. The flavor of the lemon juice is a natural complement to the avocados in the guacamole. Make the fruit salad hours in advance too. Just squeeze some lemon juice onto the apple slices, and they’ll stay snowy white.

6. CREATE BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS

For salon-worthy highlights, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then, sit in the sun until your hair dries. To maximize the effect, repeat once daily for up to a week.

7. ALL AROUND MIRACLE MEDICINE

Lemon contains potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness. Lemon water can reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly and aids a person suffering with asthma.  Lemon is a diuretic – assists in the production of urine which helps you to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria while also giving you relief from arthritis and rheumatism.  Lemon water can fight throat infections thanks to its antibacterial property. If salt water does not work for you, try lime and water for gargling.

8. MAKES SOGGY LETTUCE CRISP

Don’t toss that soggy lettuce into the garbage. With the help of a little lemon juice you can toss it in a salad instead. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.

9. GET RID OF TOUGH STAINS ON MARBLE

You probably think of marble as stone, but it is really petrified calcium (also known as old seashells). That explains why it is so porous and easily stained and damaged. Those stains can be hard to remove. If washing won’t remove a stubborn stain, try this: Cut a lemon in half, dip the exposed flesh into some table salt, and rub it vigorously on the stain. But do this only as a last resort; acid can damage marble. Rinse well.

10. SOOTHE POISON IVY RASH

You won’t need an ocean of calamine lotion the next time poison ivy comes a-creeping. Just apply lemon juice directly to the affected area to soothe itching and alleviate the rash.

Stay tuned for more helpful ways to use lemons in a future blog.  In the meantime you now know what to do “when life gives you lemons”

 Special thanks to my friend Gail for leading me to the lemons!

 

 

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This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

LEMONS-It Must Be Spring

We mostly called it macaroni, sometimes shells and sometimes spaghetti – today it seems it’s just pasta.  But whatever you call it, this dish is a delightfully different main or side dish for this season.

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 lb linguine

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots minced

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp grated lemon zest, plus 2 TBS lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Reserve 1 cup of pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.  Meanwhile, in a small pot, heat oil over medium  Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender, 4 minutes.  Add cream and lemon zest.  Bring to boil and cook until slightly thickened, 8 minutes.  Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and paper. Pour cream sauce over pasta and toss, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food

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Linguine

Image via Wikipedia

Now there’s a crazy phrase! Let’s see how do you bake a tornado, or souffle a hurricane? Well look for this one sometime in the future in another blog.  Today is really about cooking;  what’s in the crock pot right now is Slow-Cooked Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey and it smells so good, the whole house is filled with the aroma.  I started on Saturday morning cooking;  Into the crock pot went the makings of Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone see previous blog for recipe:

https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/slow-cooked-beef-minestrone/. And while that was simmering all day, I decided to make some Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup also published in a previous blog: https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/roasted-chicken-and-butternut-squash-soup. It wasn’t really that cold this weekend so I’m not sure where the urge to soup-things-up came from but nonetheless, I love soups and am glad I now have a few containers of Minestrone in the freezer.

Last night’s dinner was the Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash soup and when asked by you know who,“what’s for dinner”? and I told him, I got a less than enthusiastic reply.  I was informed that soup didn’t sound like much of a meal.  First of all I had to remind him that he has had it before and has remarked that “its a meal all by itself” because this soup is chunky, thick and full of chicken too.  So I thought about it and had recently seen a pasta recipe that I considered light- so why not make that as well.  Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce was delightful, I loved it and I never really told you know who that it had cream in it.

Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1# Linguine

1 tsp. Olive Oil

2 Shallots, minced

1 cup of Heavy Cream

1 TBSP Lemon Zest (1 lemon)

2 TBSP Lemon juice

Cook pasta and reserve 2 cups of  pasta water.  Drain and return to pot.  Cook shallots in oil in small pot over MEDIUM heat till tender (4 min).  Add cream and lemon zest and bring to boil and cook until slightly thickened ( I stirred almost constantly) about 8 minutes.  Add lemon juice, salt, pepper.  I added some pasta water at that point, judging the consistency as I like it.  I also sprinkled some grated cheese over the top also.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food


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