Earthy Pasta with Arugula & Sorrel Salad

August 8, 2011

Okay, first – if you see sorrel at a market, buy some.  Then find some arugula as well.  Use 2/3 arugula to 1/3 sorrel, and add some kind of sweet vinaigrette (I’ve been using a champagne vinaigrette recipe from epicurious, and cutting down on the oil by 25%).  I’ve seen sorrel described as ‘a lemony flavored green’, but never bothered to try it until now.  All this time wasted!  These two greens work together so well.  The pepperiness of the arugula, the lemony flavor of the sorrel (it really is like lemon in a green), and the sweetness of the dressing contrast with each other for a multi-dimensional salad.

Arugula and Sorrel Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

For dinner on Sunday, I decided to use the Pappardelle’s Porcini Mushroom Linguine I got at the farmers’ market this week, and the cinnamon cap mushrooms that I was finally early enough to snag from Hazel Dell. But I wanted to use something else as well. So I thought – hey, why not eggplant! I had a white eggplant, a variety that I hadn’t had before. It ended up tasting a bit more mild than the usual dark purple kind, but worked very well with the mushroom flavors. I also used my standard savory dish base of garlic and onion.  The onion was a whitish/purple onion with greens attached (a spring onion, I believe, spring referring to when it is harvested in its growth cycle, not the season.)

Herbs, aside from basil, seemed to be strangely missing from the farmers’ market this week, so I stopped at Alfalfa’s earlier in the day when I was in the area and found some great organic herbs from Rocky Mountain Herbs in Denver.  Rocky Mountain Herbs appears to be owned by parent company called Herbco out of Washington state, but with a facility in Denver. I can’t tell if they grow the herbs locally or if it’s just a distribution facility – I’ll have to investigate that later. But they are really nice, fresh looking herbs. And thyme turned out to work well with the mushroom flavors.

Pasta Ingredients

Porcini Mushroom Linguine with Eggplant and Cinnamon Cap Mushrooms
serves 2

4 oz Pappardelle’s Porcini Mushroom Linguine
1 medium eggplant, peeled, sliced, and then and cut into even-sized pieces (about 1/2-3/4 inch)
3 cups cinnamon cap mushrooms (substitute whatever mushrooms you’d like to use)
1 tsp avocado oil
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2-3 Tbsp vegetable broth
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 spring onion, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
shaved pecorino romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Toss the eggplant in 2 tsp of olive oil, and set aside.

Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, cook the mushrooms just a few minutes, stopping before they become juicy. Remove them from the pan, and set them aside. Turn the heat down to medium, add 1 tsp olive oil to the same skillet, and sauté the garlic and onion for a minute or two.

Start boiling the water for the pasta, and once it’s ready, add the pasta (it took about 7 minutes to cook for me).

Add the eggplant to the garlic and onion, and cook until the eggplant is tender.  Add the leaves from the sprigs of thyme (just run your thumb and finger along the stem the ‘wrong way’ – this will cause all of the leaves to fall off).  Salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce is done before the pasta, just turn the heat off, and turn it back on when you add the pasta.

When the pasta is done, drain it, add it to the skillet, and mix well.  Once you have plated it, shave some pecorino on top.

Porcini Mushroom Linguine with Eggplant and Mushrooms

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