Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Lunch

One of the things I remember most about Delphi is not just the Temple of Apollo, but also the incredible green apple relish, which accompanied the roasted meat platter that Hubby and I shared for lunch at a taverna in the village. The cool and refreshing crunch of the fruit spiked with the brightness of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil was made even more startling with the addition of nigella seeds. That relish inspired my green Matsu apple salad today, and I amplified the muskiness of the nigella seeds by sputtering them in olive oil first before adding to the apples.

[click to enlarge]

1 lb green apple, diced
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp nigella seed
½ lb pea greens, thoroughly washed and dried
½ tsp sea salt (or kosher salt) 
  1. Mix the apple and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil, add nigella seeds and sputter for about 1 minute. Pour the seeds and oil over the apples.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil to the apples and mix well. Let sit in the fridge for 10 mins.
  4. Spread the pea greens on a platter and add the apples on top. Garnish with a sprinkling of sea salt.
 [Serves 4] 

Hubby and I’ve been hooked to the fresh egg pastas from Knoll Krest Farms since last summer. They usually have a selection of whole wheat and durum wheat, spinach, carrot, beet and pumpkin pastas for sale in the farmer’s market every week along with a few different raviolis. For today’s lunch, I selected the plain durum wheat fettuccine, which I paired with chopped merguez (a spiced Moroccan lamb sausage) from Catskill Merino Sheep Farm and baby red spinach.

[click to enlarge]

24 oz fresh egg fettuccine
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb merguez, chopped
2 shallots, sliced
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup milk
1 tsp fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried thyme
Salt, to taste
½ lb baby red spinach, roughly shredded by hand
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat; add the chopped sausage and brown on all sides. Set aside sausage in a bowl.
  2. Lower heat and add shallots, sautéing them until golden. Add the sausage back to the pan and deglaze the pan with ¼ cup dry white wine, scraping off all the brown bits stuck to the bottom.
  3. Add milk, thyme and salt and simmer for 5-7 mins.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, bring a stockpot with water to a rolling boil, add a liberal sprinkling of salt and cook the pasta for 5 mins. (This is fresh pasta and cooks very fast.) Drain pasta and set aside ½ cup of the pasta water.
  5. Add pasta and pasta water to the sauce and mix well. Add spinach and stir. Let simmer, covered, for 2-3 mins until the spinach wilts.
  6. Serve in a warm platter sprinkled with parmesan cheese. 
[Serves 4]

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