Gremolata Mushroom Pasta

Gremolata Mushroom Pasta | Cravings & Crumbs

I’m at that point in the year when vegetables just don’t sound good to me.  Sure, I want to eat tons of vegetables, my body is asking me to eat vegetables, but when I walk through the produce aisle at the store nothing calls out to me or gets me excited.  Except mushrooms.  Mushrooms and broccoli are my saving grace in winter.  

Gremolata Mushroom Pasta | Cravings & Crumbs

I’ve been cooking them all sorts of ways, but recently I was thumbing through Joshua McFadden’s new book, Six Seasons, and as I was flipping through the pages the heavens parted, birds started chirping, and there they were, these gremolata mushrooms.  Good ‘ol mushrooms.  

Gremolata Mushroom Pasta | Cravings & Crumbs

Sure, I felt a little lame that in a book with so many inspiring recipes for often overlooked vegetables (think celery root, kohlrabi, rutabaga, and turnips) I went straight for the familiar.  What I’ve found about McFadden’s recipes is that even with ingredients that you’ve cooked before, he presents them to you in a whole new light.  In this dish we start by sauteeing mushrooms with garlic and olive oil.  Simple, basic.  Then we cover them with briny capers, lemon zest and juice, more garlic, and a ton of parsley.  The gremolata totally transforms the mushrooms by brightening them up and adding interest.  For me, the secret ingredient is the lemon zest.  Using zest is kind of a cheffy trick that makes a huge impact, but as a home cook I often forget about it.  Here, it really makes the dish.  

Gremolata Mushroom Pasta | Cravings & Crumbs

Last, but not least, I added pasta and a ton of parmesan because its winter and I need to plump myself up to stay warm!  Adding pasta rounds out the dish and turns it into a full meal.  Next time you’re craving a satisfying meatless meal, or just want a freakin’ delicious mushroom pasta recipe, look no further!

Gremolata Mushroom Pasta | Cravings & Crumbs

Gremolata Mushroom Pasta
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 3 T olive oil + a little more
  2. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  4. 1 T capers, chopped
  5. Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  6. ½ c. flat leaf parsley
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. 1 lb mushrooms (crimini or fancier, whatever you feel like)
  9. ½ lb cavatappi or other similar pasta
  10. Grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Add capers, lemon zest and juice to a small bowl.
  2. Heat 3 T olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, but not browned at all, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour the hot garlic oil into the bowl with the lemon and capers. Add ¾ of the parsley, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Chop the mushrooms into large pieces. Heat a little more olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Use the flat side of a large knife to whack/smash remaining garlic cloves. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the frying pan and season with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and crispy on the edges, 12-15 mins, adding more oil as needed.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, but don’t rinse.
  6. Add pasta, mushrooms, and gremolata and stir to combine.Top with remaining parsley and as much parmesan as you want.
Adapted from Joshua McFadden
Adapted from Joshua McFadden
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/
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Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

 

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic VinaigretteHere we go with another recipe from the Gjelina cookbook.  Last time we made a decadent mushroom toast that was so ridiculously delicious and comforting and would satisfy any meat eater.  (Gotta like mushrooms though, that’s a requirement).  This time I figured I would go for something much lighter.  I’ve been eating a lot of spinach salads for lunch and wanted some new flavor combinations to keep it interesting.

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

Flipping through the pages of the cookbook was so inspiring that I had a list of recipes to try before I was even halfway through.  A constant goal of mine is to find new ways to cook and enjoy more vegetables and Gjelina is the perfect cookbook for that since vegetables are their main focus.  I actually checked this cookbook out from the library years ago when it first came out and wrote it off for all the subrecipes and complexity included in the recipes.  This time around I was more in a mindset to pick and choose where to spend my effort.  The recipes are so great that even if you don’t make every single thing from scratch or find each obscure/gourmet ingredient it will still end up so much better than your average recipe.

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

What originally drew me to this recipe was the beautiful picture and the contrast between the deep green of the spinach and the golden brown of the croutons.  Remember what I was just saying about choosing where to spend your effort?  Well in this recipe don’t skip the homemade croutons!  Not only is there nothing better than homemade croutons, but I love how thinly they’re sliced.  They end up crispy, but still somewhat delicate.

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette
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For the vinaigrette
  1. 3 T red wine vinegar
  2. 1T lemon juice
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2T shallots, minced
  5. 1T honey
  6. ½ c olive oil
  7. 1t Dijon mustard
  8. Salt and pepper
For the salad
  1. Day old bread
  2. Olive oil
  3. Seasonings
  4. Baby spinach
  5. Golden raisins
  6. Goat cheese
  7. Kalamata olives
  8. Castelvetrano olives
Instructions
  1. Combine the shallots and garlic with the vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl or jar and let macerate 5-10 minutes. Then add the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients and stir or shake to combine.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice bread very thinly, about ¼” and lay out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and any other seasonings you like (garlic powder and dried basil would be a nice place to start). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Assemble salad by adding the spinach and golden raisins to a large bowl. Slice the olives in half and add to the bowl. Crumble the goat cheese on top. Break the croutons into bite sized pieces and add. Finally, toss with the vinaigrette, 1 T at a time until you reach your desired level of coating.
Notes
  1. I don’t have any measurements here because in a salad it’s all to your taste. Add a little of this and that, it really doesn’t matter as long as the main ingredient is the spinach.
Adapted from Gjelina
Adapted from Gjelina
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/
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Apple Bacon Dutch Baby

Apple Bacon Dutch Baby | Cravings & Crumbs

Here in the Bay Area we don’t get seasons in the same way everyone else does.  When others are enjoying shorts and sunshine in July we’re wearing sweaters and long sleeves.  And when everybody else is enjoying their first hot pumpkin spice lattes of the season I’m making this dutch baby in 75 degree weather with no cold weather in sight.  The thing about this dutch baby is, I’m sure it would be delicious on a chilly fall morning eaten leisurely with a hot cup of coffee and something good to read, but it was just as good eaten at 2 pm in my living room after my photoshoot with the ceiling fan on.  It’s that good. Read More

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Upgraded Chili Beans

Chili Beans | Cravings & Crumbs

Last weekend, probably like many of you, I was invited to a labor day potluck.  On the menu  was carne adovada from the most recent issue of Milk Street Magazine with my favorite sonoran style tortillas from Mi Abuelita Bonita.  Keeping with the Tex-Mex theme, I was told I could bring a “pinto bean side dish”.  My first thought was what is a pinto bean side dish besides plain pinto beans?  Keep in mind I’ve spent the past 6 years being indoctrinated into a Mexican family.  For special occasions they may make frijoles charros, a dish stewed with different cured meats and tomatoes, but I didn’t want more meats with the heavy meat main course.  Then my mind drifted to the canned chili beans my dad used to heat up as a quick addition to many Mexican meals he cooked when I was a kid.  They’re a nostalgic food for me and so I decided to recreate them – this time upgraded and from-scratch. Read More

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Black Bean Tostadas with Chipotle Crema

Black Bean Tostadas with Chipotle Crema

It’s Thursday which means you’ve made it over the hump and are sailing towards the weekend.  It also means you’re still two days away from leisurely cooking and cocktail hours – enter this ridiculously fast, cheap, vegetarian dinner to sustain you until you reach weekend indulgence.

Black Bean Tostadas with Chipotle Crema

These tostadas are simple, but still so satisfying.  They start with shallow fried corn tortillas (you can bake them if you prefer, they’ll just be a little bit drier), then you top them with refried black beans, a cilantro and lime slaw, cotija cheese, and a chipotle crema.  They are all at once crunchy, creamy, salty, refreshing, and satisfying.  Trust me – they seem basic, but you’re going to love them. Read More

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