farfalle with zucchini greek yogurt and lemon

It’s true, there is yogurt in this pasta. Your first inclination might be to think that is not quite right, but think again my friends. Everyone secretly loves a creamy, cheesy pasta dish, but it inevitably makes you feel super bloated and full for about 2.37 days. Greek yogurt is the solution.IMG_6082Tangy is Greek yogurt’s most widely recognized characteristic, and it definitely brings that to the table here. But paired with a tiny bit of cream cheese, a healthy dose of salt, and the brightness of lemon zest–it really works.  And it’s just creamy enough to give that element of comfort minus the food hangover.
IMG_6074Rainy spring nights are the perfect setting for a heaping bowl of pasta, and thankfully (albeit slowly) vegetable isles across the northeast are once again showing signs of life. Grated zucchini is a pop of color and a subtle flavor that melts right into the mix and doesn’t event require additional cooking.  Frozen peas add a sweetness that offsets the zing of the yogurt and lemon. Someday I will swap them out for fresh peas…someday.
IMG_6083Important note to leave you with: feel free to get heavy handed with that parmesan cheese. It’s for your own good.

farfalle with zucchini, greek yogurt, and lemon
…slightly tweaked from Al Forno in Providence, RI via Food & Wine
serves 4-6

1 pound dried farfalle pasta
1 cup frozen peas
2 large zucchini, grated
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbs plain cream cheese
2 tbs unsalted butter
zest and juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnishing
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and cook pasta for 10 minutes or until just cooked.  In the last minute throw in the frozen peas to flash cook. Drain (reserving a cup of pasta cooking water) and set aside.
2. In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter and then turn off the flame. Add in the yogurt, cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Incorporate the zucchini, peas, and pasta.  Stir together, incorporating reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if desired.  Add the parmesan cheese and taste for seasoning, add additional salt and pepper if needed.
4. Serve hot with extra cheese (see note above).
IMG_6081

Advertisements
farfalle with zucchini greek yogurt and lemon

the veggie bowl

IMG_5710Oh January. You saucy minx.

Just as the post-holiday blues hit and we all vow to eat nothing but vegetables until eternity, you swoop in with biting cold temperatures that produce cravings of warm, cheesey, carby things.

This little number is the perfect crossover between what your heart is telling you you want and what your brain is in the background mentioning might be the healthy choice.  Finding the middle ground of these forces is the only way to live.   In my experience, if you fall too far down the treat rabbit hole you will just find as much discomfort as you might in a hunger-induced juice cleanse haze.

Whatever the month, you should always get to eat delicious things.  Start strong in January.  Eat your veggies and keep your cheesy goodness too.

IMG_5713

the veggie bowl
serves 2

This is similar to a previously semi-indulgent farro bowl, with some seasonal changes. You can add more veggies than the ones here (they are just what happened to be available in my fridge). Sub in different greens like kale or chard; broccoli would be a wonderful addition, as would asparagus. If you like things spicy add some red pepper flakes when you cook the vegetables.  You could also throw in some chicken or even steak for extra protein. GO CRAZY.  And I suppose you could exclude the cheese, but I wouldn’t.

1 cup farro
2 tsp chives, chopped
1 tbs seasame seeds
4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced thinly
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheese (of your preference, I recommend a cheddar jack or parmesan)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the farro, mix in the chives, and set aside.
2. In a large skillet cook the vegetables over medium high heat.  Start with the onion (as it takes the longest to get tender), cook for 2 minutes then add mushrooms.  Stir occasionally and season as you go.  When the mushrooms begin to brown and the onion is translucent, add in the spinach and sesame seeds and reduce heat to low. Cook until spinach wilts and remove from heat.
3. While the vegetables are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water is just at a rolling boil, add the eggs in their shells and let them cook for 6 minutes. Pull them out and run them under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel them and cut them in half.
4. Add the vegetables and cheese to the farro and chives, and stir together.  Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil if desired, and give each bowl an egg.

IMG_5711

the veggie bowl

market season

Image

The frizz inducing heat has come back to New England…which means…the farmers’ markets are back too! And they’ve got all kinds of pretty produce that looks good enough to eat.

Image
never was there a more colorful array of carrots and radishes.

My favorite thing about walking through the farmers’ markets is chatting with the people running the stands.  They are always able to make suggestions about how to use irresistibly unique ingredients I’ve never cooked with before, and most often to help me decide what to buy (decision making is not a forté of mine). Being able to talk with people who have grown the food you are eating is such a treat.

Image
hello, gorgeous.

So far this season I’ve become acquainted with ramps, radishes, and rhubarb; among other things. But I’ve also been drawn to the beautiful standards like strawberries that are just coming into season, and lovely heads of lettuce that have the power to make me actually crave salads.

Image

This year, The Boston Public Market has finally come to be.   This year-round market for local purveyors and goodies is what has been missing from this city for too long.  I am hoping that as it grows it evolves into something resembling my favorite market in all the lands: Borough Market, in London. A description won’t do it justice, so I will just provide some visual proof of its splendor. If you find yourself across the pond, it is a must.

Image Image

this is CHEESE. and not just any cheese. the prince of cheeses…comte.
this is CHEESE. and not just any cheese. the prince of cheeses…comté.

So go to the closest market and chat it up with the locals. Try new greens! Splurge on gourmet pastries! And appreciate how absolutely delicious produce can be when it’s eaten in season.

 

 

market season

micro salad

This salad is micro both for its petit size, and its use of micro greens. However, the real secret gem ingredient is sugar snap pea tendrils. They are tendrils…that taste like sugar snap peas.

the most petit lunch
the most petit lunch

They are these beautiful green curlicues that grow along with the leaves and pea pods.  In season now, they are irresistibly playful, and tasty too.  It is the perfect touch of sweetness in this baby salad.

 

pea tendrilling
pea tendrilling

You could absolutely beef this up with some other lettuces, or perhaps the addition of some seasonal fruit, but just as it is it perfectly suits a midday appetite (particularly on the weekends when you’ve had a massive breakfast and know you’re eating an early dinner but still can’t ignore the afternoon hungries).

Don’t be intimidated by its simplicity, it just wants no muss or fuss.  But not surprisingly, it does want a side crouton.  Sorry I’m not sorry.

CLOSE UP
CLOSE UP

1 bunch pea tendrils

1 box micro arugula greens

¼ cup chives, chopped

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

goat cheese

1 demi baguette, sliced & toasted

balsamic vinegar

sea salt & pepper to taste

  • Slice baguette, toast for 5 minutes or until just browning on the edges in a 350 degree oven.
  • Slice chives, combine with other greens in a large bowl.
  • Over medium high heat, toast almonds. They are done when they become fragrant and just begin to brown, it should take about 5 minutes. Move them around in the pan periodically so one side doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
  • Spread goat cheese on the toasts. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Add almonds to the greens, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Sprinkle everything with balsamic vinegar to your preference.  And might I suggest just putting the salad right on top of your toasts for eating.
salad. on toast.
salad. on toast.
micro salad

a sea of green

Sometimes, when you get all caught up in donut and cookie intake, your body revolts, and craves all things green.

Greens aren’t so bad, in truth they are actually kind of lovable.  Especially in the spring when they are at their greenest.  So I compiled all the green things in my fridge, added some frills, and ended up with this little bowl of healthy.

all the greens.
all the greens.

Simple and satisfying, it’s a perfect antidote to sugar overload. Or just to eat because you’re hungry and it tastes really good.

Get your green on.
PS. If you were asking yourself if those are assorted undergarments surrounding the edge of the bowl in the photos, the answer is yes.  The bowl comes from fishs eddy (purchased years ago), the coolest little kitchen shop in NYC.

with the frills.
with the frills.

 

All things green salad

1 bunch asparagus
½ cup scallions, sliced on an angle (just greens)
2 cups small English peas
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cups baby arugula
4 eggs, hard cooked
1 lemon
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  • boil the eggs: in a large pot cover 4 eggs with cold water until just submerged.  bring to a boil, then put heat low and cover the pot.  let eggs cook an additional 8 minutes.  Remove and run eggs under cold water until cool enough to handle.  Peel immediately and set aside.
  • bring 2nd large pot of water to a boil.
  • remove woody ends of asparagus, cut spears on an angle into bite size pieces.
  • drop cut asparagus into the water.  blanch 5 minutes or until tender. Put in ice bath to stop cooking and preserve color.  Remove from ice bath and set aside.
  • Blanch peas 3 minutes or until just cooked. Ice bath it. remove and set aside with asparagus. let cool.
  • Slice scallion on diagonal, just the greens!
  • Put arugula in a big salad bowl and combine all green things. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, add the cheese cheese, squeeze lemon over everything, drizze with olive oil, toss to combine.
  • slice eggs and lay them atop salad.
a sea of green