At the Farmers Market, as usual I was looking for something fresh and seasonal for dinner. I was at the Downtown Summerlin Farmers Market, strolling through the Intuitive Forager indoor produce market and Stu, the Produce Manager (and my go to guy for recipes) had introduced me to the Fava beans. These favas, while a little work, are fresh but warm and creamy, and they are a go. Tagliatelle (fresh if I can find it), is Stu’s suggestion for a pasta and we turn to Bonnie for advice on the mushrooms. The morels are beautiful, but better with a red meat (and I admit to being a little intimidated by them). We determine to go with the Chanterelles. So favas, chanterelles, in maybe a carbonnara or a little Burrata….? Maybe not so creamy, perhaps a little lemon or chicken stock and a little wine. Stu pulls fresh thyme and a branch of fresh pink peppercorns for me, my basket is full and I am off to put together this creation. First, to choose the wine, since we need to have it ready to include in the dish.
Wine with Chanterelles
Mushrooms & pinot noir are a classic. The earthiness of the two meld perfectly. But my dish really wants a white wine. Lighter, springier, but still with a bit of warmth. I find suggestions for pairing a lightly oaked Chardonnay with Chanterelles. Chanterelles have a symbiotic relationship with oak trees. The mushrooms tap into the tree roots for nourishment and in turn provide the tree with minerals. So the oak on the wine and the oak in the mushrooms seem symbiotic for our pairing. Luckily, I had a 2012 Riverbench Estate Chardonnay from the Santa Maria Valley AVA in Santa Barbara. We picked this wine up when we did a Vineyard tour at Riverbench with the Vineyard Manager Rawley Hermreck, last year during the Santa Barbara Key to Wine Country Weekend. Enjoying a wine pulled from vineyards that we had walked through should just enhance the experience.
Fine tuning the recipe
So I know I am using Chanterelles, Favas, and Tagliatelle. Stu gave me thyme and fresh pink peppercorns, and I talked about not wanting a really creamy dish, so it didn’t cover up the beautiful mushrooms and the freshness of the fava beans. And…I know that I want to incorporate the Chardonnay. Stu also reminded me to scent my oil. This is a great way of adding garlic flavor that is not overpowering. I settle on creating a light sauce by adding green onions, chicken stock, lemon zest (not juice) and creme fraiche. This will give it a little creaminess but still keep it light. We will finish it with parmesan, fresh chives and fresh basil. I will be honest with you, I didn’t measure. This was a bit of this and a bit of that with liquid enough to keep the sauce at the consistency that I was looking for, but here is the basic list
- Tagliatelle pasta
- fresh fava beans
- fresh yellow footed chanterelle mushrooms
- olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- sliced green onions (about 3 and only the white part)
- a splash of white wine (I’m telling you, a lightly oaked Chard is the way to go)
- a splash chicken stock
- fresh thyme
- fresh ground pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 heaping spoonful of creme fraiche
- freshly grated parmesan
- fresh chives
- fresh basil chiffonade
Time to cook
Now to cook.
I didn’t find fresh tagliatelle, so this will take a little longer to cook (8 minutes for dried as opposed to 2 minutes for fresh). So a pot of water, salted like the sea goes on the stove.
Now on to shelling the fava beans. The velvet interior makes this a very calming and meditative practice. Once shelled we blanch them in boiling water for just 2 mintues and then put them in an ice bath to quickly cool. Now shell again, popping open the outer lining and releasing the bright green bean inside. These can sit to the side while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
In the meantime there are more ingredients to prep. The chanterelles have been stored in a brown paper bag in the crisper. They get a quick plunge bath to clean them, then the bottom of the stem is sliced off and they are cut in half, top to bottom. The thyme is pulled from it’s stem, a bit of fresh garlic chives come in from the garden, a clove of garlic sliced into thirds, 3 green onions sliced on a diagonal using just the white base, I pull out the wine, some chicken stock, and the pepper corns which I crush with a mortar and pestle. My meyer lemon and some parmesan are standing by to zest and grate, as well as a couple of fresh basil leaves to chiffonade.
Olive oil goes in the pan and the garlic is tossed in to scent the oil. Just a couple of minutes then scoop it out. The onions go in to soften for 2 minutes, then the chanterelles, thyme, peppercorns and salt go in. After a minute or two a splash of white wine and let it cook off a bit. Then drizzle in just a little bit of chicken stock. After this cooks for a couple of minutes, the heat is turned off. Now in goes freshly zested lemon. I used a Meyer lemon which is a little softer both in skin texture and flavor and seemed to meld perfectly with the dish. The bright green fava beans go in and a heaping tablespoon of crème fraiche. Stir it all around.
By this time the pasta is perfectly al dente. It gets drained, put in a bowl and tossed with olive oil. Add all the wonderful sauce and toss it then top with shredded parm, basil and chives.
Pour a glass of lightly oaked chardonnay and enjoy.