Monday, February 28, 2011

Specialty oil and vinegar inspires spontaneous Meatless Monday

Dinner tonight was supposed to be ridiculously simple. A nice thick steak had marinated overnight in a light sesame-ginger bath. Bok choy fresh from the farmer's market was ready to be stir fried. Then the sky grew dark and the TV started beeping.

Call me chicken, but I don't grill during a severe storm warning. I've never mastered the broiler, so it was time for Plan B:  a spontaneous Meatless Monday.

Fortunately, before the rain started, I stopped in Midtown Olive Press at North Hills to cash in a Groupon coupon. This is my kind of shop: dark wood tables topped with great, spigoted tins of goodness, each bearing an eye-level label boasting of fragrant infused olive oils, nut and seed oils, and a giddy array of vinegars. After using bread cubes to soak up some samples -- and tossing back others from tiny white cups -- I settled on wild mushroom-sage oil, Sicilian lemon white balsamc vinegar, and decadent black cherry balsamic. I used the first two to make a simple vinaigrette; the latter smells so good, I'm tempted to dab some on my wrists.

1 16-oz package short pasta
1 24-oz pkg, frozen florets (or large bunch fresh, cut into florets)
8 oz mushrooms, trimmed and halved or quartered
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper
3 tbsp. wild mushroom-sage oil
2 tbsp. Sicilian lemon white balsamic vinegar
Parmesean Romano, freshly grated

Cook pasta in salted water according the package directions.

Meanwhile, sautee onion in 1 tbsp. plain olive oil under medium-low heat about 3 minutes or until just softened. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lightly browned and tender, about 6-8 minutes.

At the same time, cook broccoli. Drain if necessary then add to mushroom mix; stir to combine. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. When just al dente, transfer drained pasta to pan with mushroom-broccoli mix; add pasta water and simmer 2-3 minutes.

When fluid is reduced and pasta is tender, pour mushroom oil and lemon balsamic into small lidded container and shake well. Pour over pasta and stir to combine; check for salt and pepper. If delicious, and it should be, transfer to serving bowl and top with freshly grated parmesean.

No comments:

Post a Comment