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Posts Tagged ‘zest’

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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In the last couple of years I seem to be making more recipes that call for lemon zest or orange zest and so a couple of years ago I bought a Zester and then went on to buy another microplane with slightly larger holes and blades and is best used for grating cheese and chocolate.  

I don’t have a kitchen filled with lots of gadgets and expensive knives, quite the contrary actually.  However, when I find a kitchen tool that makes putting together and cooking a meal easier, I’m all for it.  I love using my zester and using it when  you can zest a whole lemon over a bowl or pot is so easy.  BUT when I have to measure out a tablespoon or two and am zesting the lemon over a small plate, the zest ends up on the counter and elsewhere.  Then you have to scrape up the zest and scoop it into a measuring spoon.  

Well LOOKY HERE! Edgeware Better Zester is a creative new product that has taken zesting to a new level.  This handy tool has  little zester teeth that are coated with a food-safe nonstick coating, similar to the popular brightly-colored Kuhn Rikon knives. Also, it has a plastic attachment on the back that catches all the zest.  

Where this really shines, though, is in that zest catcher. It has measurement markings, so you can shake the zest into the bottom and see how much you’ve collected so far. Then, when you’re ready to get your zest, you can slide the zest catcher off and it sort of squeegees everything off the zester, leaving you with clean blades and all the zest neatly caught in the little attachment. Works perfectly, every time. 

Add A Little Zest To Your Life

Add A Little Zest To Your Life

This super kitchen aid  is available online through several stores and Amazon.  The average price is $14.95

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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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