Greens--you've got to love them if you live in the Northwest. Most every farmer grows some. This is Willie Green's in Monroe.
With our cool, rainy climate, greens thrive here. You could plant some seeds or go pick up some plant starts at a nursery or even a grocery store and start your garden with those.
Or you could get some fabulous tasting greens from the farmers market.
If you get turnip greens, these must be used within a day. Arugula is one of my favorites and even though we have some growing in my garden, I like to try the different varieties at the farmers market. I never get tired of the peppery flavor.
And if you're using olive oil, always use good quality. I'm a big fan of these Spanish varieties.
What was I going to make? I flipped through a few cookbooks and then I remembered this recipe from The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook. The recipe is easy. Orzo pasta takes about 15 minutes. I changed it to add the shiitakis.
Orzo with Arugula and Shiitaki Mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 spring onion, diced
1 /2 to 2 cups baby shiitakis or chopped larger shiitakis with the stems removed
Pinch of Cayenne (or chopped Mama Lil's Peppers to taste)
1/2 cup dry Riesling wine
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
2 cups chopped arugula
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat
2. Add oil, onions, cayenne and shiitakis. Stir and cook until onions and mushrooms are soft. Add Riesling and stir. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Add orzo pasta.
3. Reduce heat, stir and cook for 13 minutes or until liquid is absorbed by pasta.
4. Blend in arugula and cook until wilted (2 or 3 minutes).
5. Garnish with pecans. Serve with a lemon wedge.
Sometimes the Cooking Assistant feels entitled.