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herb harvest

First real harvest, of sorts. From overwintered herbs and a few bolting vegetables. Not much, but it was a harvest nonetheless, and beggars can’t be choosers. They made it into these meals:

Sage in Ravioli di Magro, for a quick after-school lunch (or early dinner) with the kids. It had to be quick; piano and martial arts lessons within the hour. Thank goodness they both like this one. TG is not a vegetarian, but she eats very little meat. She won’t touch anything with ground meat in it, e.g., hamburgers, sausages, meatballs, etc. So Ravioli di Magro is perfect since it doesn’t contain any meat, but there is still cheese in it for protein.

ravioli di magro

Ravioli di Magro
(Serves 3)

So easy to make, especially if you use purchased ravioli. We’re lucky to live in an area with abundant access to excellent ready-made Italian food. You get extra brownie points if you make your own ravioli. Look here for instructions: http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Ravioli

Ingredients:

1 package (13 oz) frozen cheese or vegetable ravioli (Magro means thin or lean in Italian. In this dish, it translates to “without meat.”)
1 large clove garlic, sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
12 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (They were small leaves. You may need less if your leaves are big. Sage is a strong-flavored herb. A little goes a long way, especially if you use dry sage, in which case you would need about half a tsp.)
A splash of cream or milk
Grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

1. In a soup pot, boil water, add a little salt. When it starts boiling hard is when you drop your ravioli in. Fresh ravioli takes just a few minutes to cook. Frozen a little longer, but still very quick. When they start floating to the top is when you remove them, because they are cooked then.

2. While the ravioli is boiling, make your sauce. Heat butter in a sauté pan, on medium high. Add garlic and cook til garlic is golden and butter no longer foams. Add the chiffonade of sage. Remove pan from heat. Add cream or milk. Then add the ravioli.

3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese.

Later in the week, when everybody had time to sit for dinner, together, I made this roasted chicken, with the oregano. Served with sautéed kale flowers.

roasted chicken

Roasted Chicken
(Serves 4)

Many other herbs would work here, not just oregano. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (anybody singing yet?) would be good with the chicken.

Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs & drumsticks
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and pour it over chicken, making sure all the pieces are coated with it.

3. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, brown chicken until golden brown. Transfer chicken to a sheet pan, skin side up.

4. Roast chicken in oven until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

You can make sauce for the chicken if you like, by deglazing the skillet. First remove any burnt small pieces that were left by the browning chicken, then add white wine or chicken broth or both. Let it reduced by half, then stir in butter. Tadaa….you’ve got sauce! We ate our chicken with roasted potatoes and sautéed kale, no sauce.

Parsley was starting to bolt, but still tender and good, so quite a bit was used in Linguine Vongole. Such a simple recipe. Such a delicious dish!

linguine

Linguine Vongole
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb linguine
1 can (6.5 oz) chopped clams. You want to use live clams? Even better!
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 tbsp butter

Method:

1. Boil linguine according to the directions on the box.

2. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium-high, add the garlic and cook til garlic is slightly golden in color.

3. Drain the juice from the clams and add the clams to the pan. It will splatter a bit, but that’s ok. It’s part of the cooking process.

4. Add the white wine. Hopefully by this time, your linguine is at ” al dente” stage, which means you need to drain it and add it to the pan. Then toss it around to absorb the sauce. (If you’re using live clams, cover the pan and let clams cook before adding linguine, about 5 minutes. Clams are cooked when they open up. If you see clams that are not opened, then they’re bad clams and you need to throw those out.)

5. Add the butter. Toss some more, then sprinkle the parsley, and toss again. If the pasta looks too dry, add a little of the boiling water used for cooking the pasta. I hope you saved some.

6. Drizzle a little olive oil before serving.

I didn’t put any parmesan cheese on our linguine because according to an Italian friend it’s a big no-no to add cheese to a seafood dish. Prior to that knowledge, I routinely did. I’d say if it tastes good to you, by all means!

Daphne hosts Harvest Monday. Go to her site and check out other harvests from around the globe.

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