Friday, July 29, 2011

mostly local: Berley's pink penne

We are back in the swing of things after a two week vacation of sorts, during a portion of which we visited Capriole Farmstead in Southern Indiana. The cheese was amazing, and I came home and made the following dish, adapted largely from Peter Berley's version in The Flexitarian Table. Here 'tis:

Penne with Beets, Beet Greens, Goat Cheese and Hickory Nuts

local ingredients:
~2# beets with their greens (greens in good shape)
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 T chopped fresh tarragon
5 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
3/4 c hickory nuts (or sub walnuts if needed)

remaining ingredients:
sea salt and fresh pepper
2-3 T good quality extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces whole wheat penne (I used brown rice)
large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Trim greens from beets, leaving about an inch attached and scrub well. Wrap in foil and roast in 400 degree oven about 45 minutes or until knife can pierce easily (this can be done in advance). Let cool a bit, run under cold water, and slip the skins from the beets. Slice into 1/2 inch sticks and set aside.

Wash and thinly slice greens. Add to beets.

Heat water for pasta - cook until al dente.

Heat oil in large skillet until it shimmers, then add sliced garlic, tarragon and pepper flakes and cook until garlic is lightly colored. Add beets and greens and cook while stirring until greens have wilted.

Add the cooked pasta and goat cheese, stirring until cheese is melted and incorporated (a splash of milk is sometimes helpful here). Season with salt and pepper, top with hickory nuts and serve.

Personally, I think the fresh tarragon and hickory nuts make this dish. Enjoy!