December 19, 2009

Parsley Root and Carrot Potage

I found the root of parsley in the market. I had never seen it before. It resembled burdock, my favorite Japanese vegetable.
And the fragrance was wonderful. Of course, I got some. Parsley root is sweet!
So, today, I cooked it in a soup with carrot for Mr. and Mrs. P.
When I delivered their bento, the potage had already gotten cold. I asked Mrs. P. to warm it up but she didn't. Because the weather was warm then. And they might have been hungry.

comment from Mrs. P.
The soup was cold but we ate it anyway and it was very good! - delicate like vichyssoise soup.


serves 2
2 parsley roots sliced
2 medium carrots sliced
1/2 medium onion chopped
1/2 teaspoon of rice flour or 1 teaspoon of rice
1 teaspoon of kombu tea powder* or 1 teaspoon of kombu-dashi powder*
1.5 cup water
2 cups of soy milk
a bit of minced parsley
extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, white pepper


Put 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauce pan and heat it up on medium heat. Add the parsley roots, the carrots and the onion and stir for 1-2 min. Add the water, the kombu powder, the rice or rice flour and simmer until everything becomes soft. ( 15-20 min .)
Puree the soup in a blender. Put the puree and the soy milk in a pan and simmer for a while and add 1 table spoon of the olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, drizzle a bit of the olive oil and put the parsley on the top.

December 14, 2009

Pasta : Simple tomato and basil

I had the tomato pasta today. I often cook the tomato pasta for my lunch.
I never lose interest in it even if I eat everyday. It is savory, healthy and easy!
Choose rich and sweet grape tomatoes.

serves 1
10 - 13 grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 clove garlic, smashed and sliced
2 -3 fresh basil leaves
handful of pasta ( angel hair or spaghettini : 100-120g )
a pinch of dried red pepper
extra virgin olive oil and salt

Put 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the garlic and the pepper in the frying pan. Saute over low heat until the garlic becomes golden. Add the tomatoes, basil and bring the heat to middle high. Smash the tomatoes and stir until the sauce becomes thick. Keep warm on low heat.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Put the salt in the boiling water ( 1 1/3tablespoons for 1/2gal : 1% ). You might feel it is a little bit too salty if you sample the water, but it is exactly right. Put the pasta in the water and return to boiling. Stir just once as soon as you put it in. If you stir many times the pasta will lose its rough surfaces and can't catch the sauce. Make sure the pasta is Al dente!
Put a tablespoon of the boiling water in the sauce and shake the pan until it becomes milky.
Drain the water off the pasta and put it into the pan and stir well. Dish it up and drizzle a bit of the olive oil.
Adjust the time for finishing of the sauce and pasta. If this is difficult, make the sauce first and turn off the fire until the pasta finishes cooking.
The amount of salt put into the water is very important. It determines the taste.