Karl headed over to Brisbane on Sunday, which gave me time to take a stroll to visit the ducks in the duckpond in the Botanic Gardens again, as well as see all the signs of spring (see last post and Instagram @thistlesandkiwis). Having the afternoon and evening to myself, I took the opportunity to cook something just for me that I knew would not be quite to his taste. I firmly believe that when eating on your own, it is important not to rely on just toast and cheese, but to make just a little effort. You can always have the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
Jerusalem artichokes are in season here in New Zealand just now, so I picked up a few with the rest of the shopping on Saturday. Rather than just roasting them, I decided to use them in Love and Lemons’ recipe for Broccoli Rabe & Jerusalem Artichoke Orecchiette. To be honest, I didn’t know what broccoli rabe was, and have certainly never seen it here (it isn’t fine stemmed broccoli apparently), so substituted, as suggested, some red chard (more on that later).
The recipe was for four people, so I halved it, and I had lots for both Sunday dinner and Monday lunch. For four you need:
- A good tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 5 thinly sliced Jerusalem artichokes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 320g orecchiette pasta (which I happened to have! Any small pasta will do)
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1 bunch of chard, kale or broccoli rabe
- 1.5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 50 g crumbled feta (I used Zany Zeus, which I love)
- 40g pine nuts
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- Optional grated pecorino
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the Jerusalem artichoke in a single layer and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until both sides are browned (just takes a couple of minutes). Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil, and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions (mine took 11 minutes).
Wipe the frying pan, add a little more oil if necessary, and add the shallot, cooking until soft. Add the garlic, whatever leafy vegetable you are using and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Toss until the leaves wilts (can take from 2 to 4 minutes depending on the leaves). Add the cooked and drained pasta, Jerusalem artichokes, lemon zest, feta, pin nuts and chilli flakes. Top with a little grated pecorino if so wished. Eat with a good glass of pinot noir.
It was delicious…but…do not use the gorgeous looking deep red chard as pictured above. It bleeds pink into the pasta, which kind of spoils the look (hence no picture). Today’s handy hint! A perfect dish for the end of the day after a walk.
Recipe from Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews (2016) The Love and Lemons Cookbook
You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis. As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days. If you want to get in touch, email me on email@example.com