Saturday, 20 December 2008

Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms and Salmon and Chard en Papillote

I love reading Nigella Lawson's cookbooks. She writes like she talks, lyrically and with great humour. This pasta dish is from Nigella Express, a book dedicated to recipes that require very little hands-on prep time - good for weeknights and parties alike.
I let the marinated mushrooms sit for a little longer than Nigella did, and was very happy with the strong, bright flavours. If you like big flavour, I suggest you also let the marinated shrooms sit for an hour or more.

Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms - Nigella Lawson, Nigella Express

8 ounces/4 cups finely sliced cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Maldon/kosher salt
Small clove garlic, minced (I used two)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 sprigs fresh thyme stripped to give 1 teaspoon leaves
1 pound linguine
1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped, to give 1/2 cup
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Slice the mushrooms finely, and put them into a large bowl with the oil, salt, minced garlic, lemon juice and zest, and gorgeously scented thyme leaves.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain loosely retaining some water. Quickly put the pasta into the bowl with the mushroom mixture.
Toss everything together well, and then add the parsley, cheese and pepper before tossing again. Eat with joy in your heart. (Don't you just love that?)

Salmon and Chard en Papillote
You can adjust the amounts to number of servings and taste.

Chard, washed and chopped. (No need to thoroughly dry, a little water is beneficial to the cooking process. Just shake out after washing.)
Olive oil
Lemon pepper
Garlic, minced
Salmon fillets, boneless and skinless
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
Lemon slices

This is a dish I just threw together to go with the pasta. I was very happy with how it turned out. For each boneless, skinless fillet; I put down a large piece of foil topped with a large piece of parchment paper. The size will depend on the size of your fillet but you want to be able to wrap it and the other ingredients up and have enough left for a few folds on top. The foil is to hold the parchment parcel together.
Preheat your oven to 400.
On the parchment, put down a big pile of chopped chard - it will wilt down quite a bit. Season with lemon pepper, thyme, dill and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil.
Top with a salmon fillet, season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and top with lemon slices. Wrap well with parchment and then the foil to hold together. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through but not over-cooked.

I am loving this easy method for baking/steaming the fish, I will be doing it a lot from now on.

I loved this meal! Simple, bright flavours. Fairly healthy and incredibly delicious.