Thursday, February 07, 2008

Taking a Break from Oranges

The orange tree in the backyard is behaving itself, mercifully. I can pick oranges when I want to, and the rest will wait politely on the tree... for a little while longer.
Now I'm turning my attention to the dinky little Meyer lemon tree. I think it grew exactly a dozen lemons this year, and we've only used a couple so far.
It occurred to me to re-create a winter version of a pasta dish I had last summer. With Cranky's help, we went a little bit overboard, but hey, walnuts are good for you!
The summer version was spaghetti zinged with lemon juice and zest, plus olive oil, chile peppers and arugula stirred through the strands. It was good, but it wasn't hot enough. More peppers next time.
The winter version is spaghetti zinged with lemon juice and zest, plus olive oil, chile peppers and cooked winter greens stirred through the strands. And walnuts. It was good, but it wasn't hot enough! I'm doing something wrong, but at least I'm consistent.
Or maybe I'm scared of my chiles.
UPDATE: I forgot to include garlic as an ingredient, sheesh. Obviously there's grated cheese; I just didn't mention it. And last summer's version also had a bit of anchovy (I used paste) in it; we skipped it this time. The source of this great recipe is Susan at Food Blogga (and she kindly credits Jamie Oliver as her inspiration).


tammy said...

Yeah, I'm afraid of chiles, too. I haven't cooked with them enough to know how much you can use of which kind to get that perfect level of heat. I have to work on that. said...

That looks positively yummy! But I wanted to thank you because I have a lot (a LOT) of arugula in the greenhouse that could use a stir in a hot pot and a pairing with some pasta.

Jennifer Jeffrey said...

You think you need more chilies, but all you really need is more cheese. Like double or triple what you have there. Then it'll be perfect.

Rev. Biggles said...

Butt hay? Shudder.

Yeah, whenever anyone uses the term "but hey", I think of, "butt hay".

It's my nature.


dancingmorganmouse said...

12 lemons?? Wow, I've only got 4, still dark green, they won't be ready for simply ages. What do you feed your lemon tree then?

kudzu said...

Chiles: the amount is sooo personal. Playing with the recipe and adding bit by bit (half pod by half pod?) can only be fun. Seems like recipes from southern Italy are what you should peek at.

Are you sure you're not part Eyetalian?

Ms. J. has a point. Is there ever enough cheese?

My lemon trees are producing bravely in spite of having been turned yellow by the rain running through their deep pots. Help. I want to save them. (Had Meyer lemonade today.)

Patricia Scarpin said...

What a delicious pasta dish. Love the ingredients - I'll try it sometime!

Heather said...

I love sh**loads of chile flake on pasta. Not the same as fresh chiles, but it's still the easiest way to kick up the volume!

Nice touch with the walnuts.I make a very similar dish that has a hit of cream and nutmeg to moisten the noodles.

cookiecrumb said...

Tammy: I thought I knew what I was doing, but I didn't. The heat is greatly diffused throughout the food.

Fast: Yeah, it's pretty good. Go look at Susan's beautiful photo for even more inspiration (and a recipe).

Jennifer: Sometimes cheese IS the meal!

Biggles: You wanna get in a fight? I'll come over to Meathenge with a red pen and mark up your illiterate butt, hey!

Morgan: I got nine the first year, and then none for a couple of years, so this is thrilling. We use a seaweed type of fertilizer.

Kudzu: Yes, but I wanted to at least taste the heat, and it was sadly missing. I shortchanged meself.
Fingers crossed for your lemon tree.

Patricia: Why, thank you! That was the exact reaction I had when I saw it the first time on Susan's blog. Must try.

Heather: The first time, I (under)-used chile flakes. This time, I (under)-used fresh peppers.
I'm with you on the cream and walnuts thing! But not with lemon, no. :D

Catherine said...

that looks perfect! walnuts are good food!

cookiecrumb said...

Catherine: We're now in the habit of tossing walnuts on spaghetti. I love them with whole-wheat spaghetti; as long as you're having a shaggy meal, might as well jack up the roughage.

mollycal said...

Great idea with the walnuts. I've been making a very similar pasta but with chickpeas. And no chiles. Time for a revamp. Thanks for the ideas.

cookiecrumb said...

Mollycal: Chickpeas in pasta!!?? Oh, I am now enlightened. Thank YOU.

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