Tuesday, June 7, 2011

nettlekopita; pea-shoot salad; rhubarb filo pastry

On Friday more guests arrived - my undergraduate professor and mentor and my undergraduate writing-centre assistant boss - a couple who are very good friends now. They always have us over for sumptuous dinners (my prof spent some time in Sardinia and is an excellent cook) so I wanted to do something fancy. The dinner was almost entirely local - it was fun trying to make something tasty out of such good ingredients!

nettlekopita - I got a recipe off the internet, but it wasn't as good as the one my friend made a couple of weeks ago. So I'll post hers when I get the chance. Still, mine tasted okay and everyone was impressed that nettles could taste good.

Pancetta-cooked Atlantic scallops with giant mushrooms and Taproot green onions
Garlic & green onion mashed potatoes
Pea-shoot salad

For the potatoes, cut them in small pieces and boil until a fork can be inserted easily. I leave the skin on - it tastes good, and it's the most nutritious part! Drain and mash, adding 1 clove crushed garlic, 2-3 green onions (chopped), about half a block of cream cheese, 2-3 T of butter, and enough milk to make them creamy (don't overdo the milk - 2-3 T should do it).
For the pea-shoot salad:
bowl full of pea-shoots, washed and torn
1/2 cup edamame beans, cooked tender-crisp and cooled
1/4 cup goat's cheese, crumbled
2 T olive oil
3 T lemon juice
1 T sugar

Rhubarb filo pastry

This is one of the easiest desserts to make, and a good way to use up filo (phyllo?) from the nettles. Spread some tinfoil on a baking sheet, then spread out a couple of sheets of filo. Brush with melted butter. Repeat until you have 6-8 sheets of filo. Dump some chopped rhubarb (fresh from our garden!) in the centre, and pour some sugar overtop (about a cup?). Fold filo around the rhubarb and seal with melted butter. Brush more butter overtop. Cut a vent or two in the top, then cook at 350 until golden and crispy.


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