Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fusilli, Mushrooms, And Radishes

The last meal I posted, inspired by the field of food anthropology and the works of Claude Levi-Strauss, lacked a pasta element with the main course. The eggplant parmesan I threw together on the fly was delicious indeed but it is traditionally eaten with some sort of carb whether crusty bread or pasta. Since I omitted a pasta sidekick in my last meal I decided to include one in this post. I got home early this evening as the whether was beginning to turn gray and dismal. It has not been much of a summer thus far with weekly thundershowers becoming routine. I wanted some good comfort food to chill and relax with, opting for some fusilli tossed with tomato sauce and mushrooms. I had some leftover tomato sauce in the fridge along with a half a ball of fresh mozzarella. The pasta was a snap needing a quick shake of the pan to sauté the sliced mushrooms and the patience to wait for the water to boil. The basil chiffonade from my very own plant outside was the highlight of the dish by far. The sauce was good and all but the fresh summery flavor of the basil, which goes excellently with anything tomato, brought a huge boost to the pasta.

The second dish was a little more experimental. I saw a menu recently, for the life of me I cannot remember where, featuring a roasted radish side dish meant to accompany grilled lamb chops. I was intrigued by the idea of cooking radishes at all, let alone roasting them, and was not entirely convinced. Radishes are a summer staple but they can get a bit boring if the only way you eat them is with butter, salt, and bread. I decided to braise the little red pebbles with shallots and lots of vinegar to both add acidity and eventually sweeten the radishes. Overall the dish was interesting to say the least, a bit strong and a bit weird. I think it would be better suited as a side dish to a substantial protein like roasted chicken or certain fish which would balance out their powerful flavor. The proposition of cooking radishes warrants further investigation and I am not ruling it out. As always, I encourage you to enjoy and share delicious food and home cooked meals with yourself and others!

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