Whole Wheat Oricchiette with Bitter Greens and Radishes

This past friday we became members of a vegetable coop.  I believe they are called CSA’s in the US, and here in France they are called AMAP’s.  The farmer produces all of his crops, just for the people who are members of the group.  Once a week you go and pick up your portion of that week’s production.  I am super excited.  I did participate in something similar when we lived in Mill Valley. It was called Organic Express and they delivered a box of fruits and veg to your doorstep once a week.  For me, it’s perfect, because this is the way I like to cook.  I like to shop for whatever is fresh, local and in season, then I get it all home and figure out what I will make.

This week I got a giant bunch of radishes in my basket.  I have never seen radishes like these before.  So intriguing.  The farmer at the coop told me to eat the leaves just like I would spinach.  So I found this awesome recipe on Epicurious, that called for the radish and the leaves (well not exactly, but that is what I did).  I made it for easter lunch and it was super yummy.  I did not have Oricchiette pasta on hand, so I used an artisanal oversized try colored penne pasta that I bought in town yesterday.  I believe I less of the ‘creamy sauce’ due to my oversized pasta, but it tasted great none the less.

You can view the complete recipe online at: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Whole-Wheat-Oricchiette-with-Bitter-Greens-and-Radishes-368981?mbid=ipapp
Whole Wheat Oricchiette with Bitter Greens and Radishes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs made from whole wheat bread
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound whole wheat orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta)
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 medium radishes (8 ounces), sliced into 1/4″ rounds
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bunches bitter greens (such as escarole), trimmed, chopped
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add radishes; cook, stirring often, until browned in spots but still crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and garlic to skillet; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add greens and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and cook, stirring often, until greens start to wilt. Add pasta and cheese; stir until cheese melts and sauce is slightly thickened, adding more pasta cooking liquid by 1/4-cupfuls if too dry. Stir in radishes, lemon juice, and pepper. Season with salt. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.

Bon Appétit, December 2011, by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Happy eating!

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