Tag Archives: vegetarian

Creamy Meyer Lemon and Fig Pasta

Oooooh figs!  I love their sweetness, their amazing color (inside and out), the way that they can go savory or sweet.  I love figs so much that I planted a fig tree in our backyard.  Allegedly it should produce fruit this year, fingers crossed, but in the meantime I scour the farmers markets when they are in season.  Problem is they can be sort of hard to find and the season is so short.  The next best thing is keeping dried figs on hand.  Reconstituted in a little liquid they can be used on pizzas, folding into a lovely pasta like this or to top ice cream.  I prefer black mission figs and they are usually the most widely available – Trader Joe’s always seems to have them in stock.

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Equally fleeting is the meyer lemon season.  If you have never tried one it’s like if a tangerine and a lemon had a baby.  The skin is ever so slightly more orange than a regular lemon and as you can see it’s smaller and smoother.  They have such a bright sunny flavor so I stock up as soon as I can get my hands on them.  If you can’t find meyer lemons or they aren’t in season you can use regular lemon, I would just omit the zest and have a lighter hand with the juice since it’s more pungent.  Paired together with creamy goat cheese, the fig and meyer lemon all come together for a super quick and delicious pasta dinner.  The sauce actually cooks in the same time as the pasta!  This post is dedicated to my friend Ashley who is even more obsessed with figs than I am – if I get any figs this year I will make sure to send some to Denver Ash!

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Creamy Meyer Lemon and Fig Pasta (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  getting figgy with it
Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 6 ounces dried mission figs, stems cut off and quartered
  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon meyer lemon zest
  • 4 to 5 ounces soft goat cheese
  • the juice of 1 meyer lemon

In a large skillet heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  At the same time bring water to a boil and add the pasta and salt.  Add the shallot with some salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes until softened.  Add the figs and cook for an additional minute.

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Add the wine and zest and let it cook for about 3 minutes until most of the wine has cooked off but not all.  The pasta should be al dente now so drain, saving a cup of pasta water, and add to the skillet.  Toss the pasta with the wine, shallots and figs and cook for 1 more minute so the pasta can take on some of the wine.  Turn off the heat and crumble in the goat cheese.  Stir it around so the cheese can melt and become a sort of sauce.  Add some of the pasta water if you need to thin it out.  Squeeze the meyer lemon all over, toss and taste for salt and pepper.

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Creamy Meyer Lemon and Fig Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 6 ounces dried mission figs, stems cut off and quartered
  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon meyer lemon zest
  • 4 to 5 ounces soft goat cheese
  • the juice of 1 meyer lemon

In a large skillet heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  At the same time bring water to a boil and add the pasta and salt.  Add the shallot with some salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes until softened.  Add the figs and cook for an additional minute.

Add the wine and zest and let it cook for about 3 minutes until most of the wine has cooked off but not all.  The pasta should be al dente now so drain, saving a cup of pasta water, and add to the skillet.  Toss the pasta with the wine, shallots and figs and cook for 1 more minute so the pasta can take on some of the wine.  Turn off the heat and crumble in the goat cheese.  Stir it around so the cheese can melt and become a sort of sauce.  Add some of the pasta water if you need to thin it out.  Squeeze the meyer lemon all over, toss and taste for salt and pepper.

Roasted Carrots with Vadouvan Yogurt Sauce

Oh how I miss the summer days, strolling through the farmers market and taking advantage of the bounty of produce.  We have reached the doldrums of winter vegetables and it really forces you to get creative so it’s not the same roasted brussel sprouts or kale chips every night.  I have been seeing more and more carrot dishes on menus these days – the vibrant color can really help perk up a meal, they are wicked cheap and they last forever in the fridge.  This summer I posted this awesome carrot ribbon salad but for a winter dish you are going to want something warm and more hearty.  These roasted carrots are just the ticket – roasting the carrots pulls out their natural sweetness and also gives them a nice char.  I have done several different “sauces” with these carrots but this yogurt vadouvan is definitely my favorite.  If you have never had vadouvan is a kind of curry blend that to me is less spicy and more aromatic than the regular curry you are used to.  It’s really best paired with sweet veggies like these carrots or in the summer in a nice corn soup.  If you are in DC you can find it at Bazaar Spices in Union Market – nationally I have seen it at World Market or of course your local Indian grocer.  It’s becoming somewhat trendy lately, so it should be more accessible but if you don’t feel like tracking it down you can use regular curry.  Mixed with the fresh lemon zest and bite of garlic, fat free greek yogurt becomes super flavorful.  I like to serve these carrots with roasted pork tenderloin and then use the sauce for both the carrots and the pork.  I will be posting the perfect pairing, a pistachio crusted pork, on Friday.  So check your crisper drawer, I am sure there are some less then perfect carrots hanging around in there.  Roasting will hide any limpness or bruises and I will never tell.

Roasted Carrots with Vadouvan Yogurt Sauce (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   working through my spice collection
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut in half on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 container (mine was 5.3 ounces) of nonfat greek plain yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vadouvan (if you can’t find or don’t want to use this you can use 1/2 teaspoon curry powder or experiment with other spices)
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the carrots with the olive oil and salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet.

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Roast for 7 minutes and then toss the carrots, then roast for 7 minutes more.  While the carrots are roasting combine the yogurt, vadouvan, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper in a small bowl (this can be done days in advance).

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When the carrots are done spread the yogurt sauce on the serving plate and top with carrots.

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Roasted Carrots with Vadouvan Yogurt Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut in half on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 container (mine was 5.3 ounces) of nonfat greek plain yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vadouvan (if you can’t find or don’t want to use this you can use 1/2 teaspoon curry powder or experiment with other spices)
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the carrots with the olive oil and salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet.  Roast for 7 minutes and then toss the carrots, then roast for 7 minutes more.  While the carrots are roasting combine the yogurt, vadouvan, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper in a small bowl (this can be done days in advance).  When the carrots are done spread the yogurt sauce on the serving plate and top with carrots.

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