Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Herbs are all you need

Yesterday's lunch was simple and satisfying. All it took was a handful of herbs, some garlic, pasta, olive oil, a few pea pods and tiny turnips, salt, a dash of pepper and some parmesan cheese to transform those few minutes of my afternoon into an exquisite experience.

The peas pods and turnips are from my garden, hence the miniature size of the turnips. But I like them that way. Their small size gives a more delicate flavor and the purple/pink color is radiant. The herbs are from the patio - thyme, sage, basil, parsley and a little savory for good measure (I planted 4 small plants near the beans in my garden this year because I've heard they keep bean plants healthy - I now have 4 gigantic savory plants and some very healthy beans). The rest - the pasta, olive oil, garlic and parmesan - are things I always have on hand.

Try it yourself with whatever veggies you have in the fridge and whatever combination of fresh herbs you can dig up!

Pasta with turnips, peas, herbs and garlic (for one)

Pasta of your choice
1 tsp olive oil for the veggies and more to drizzle on the pasta
1 small or two very small turnips
6 or 7 young pea pods
1 small clove of garlic, sliced
a handful of various herbs, roughly chopped (e.g., basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, etc...)
shaved parmesan
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking chop the herbs and heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic, turnips and pea pods to the pan and until cooked but still slightly crunchy (3 to 4 minutes). (I like to add the garlic about a minute or so into the cooking process. It keeps it from burning and boosts the garlic flavor.) Remove from heat. When the pasta is done, drain it and combine with the herbs and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Add enough salt to give the dish a flavor boost, keeping in mind that the parmesan will add a little bit of salt as well (start slow and taste as you go). Add the veggies and shave some parmesan on top. Grab a fork and munch your way to bliss!

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