So apparently it’s Organic September! If you love organic food, chances are you buy it all year round, but I do love using these themed months as a personal challenge – just like how I took part in Veganuary (vegan January) a few years back.
This time, my challenge took this form:
That’s a whole load of stuff that was sent to me by Organic UK for their #OrganicUnboxed challenge – so many gorgeous ingredients! My task was to create a recipe using some of these lovely organic products.
– the crops have been exposed to fewer pesticides
– the dairy cows are free range and pasture fed
– the farming is more environmentally friendly
…and everything is generally cleaner, happier and healthier. Lovely.
Just in case you can’t see from the picture, here’s what I had to play with: Thai curry sauce, watercress, milk, kefir, red onions, limes, tomatoes, butter, chocolate, potatoes, quinoa pasta, yogurt, chestnut mushrooms, button mushrooms, strawberries, raspberries, wine, soy sauce, wholewheat pasta, courgettes, and miso. Whew!
One ingredient in the box immediately caught my eye – miso! It’s something I’d heard a lot about, but hadn’t yet used. If you’re also new to miso, it’s basically a paste made from fermented soy beans. Sounds weird, tastes awesome. It’s kind of like a solid version of soy sauce – it’s got that super salty umami flavour, so one spoonful goes a long way. Since I’m a miso newbie, I thought I’d keep it simple with this recipe, and added a dollop of miso to a luxurious brown butter sauce for pasta – and if you’re also new to brown butter, aka beurre noisette, it’s basically just butter that’s been caramelised.
Pretty much every ingredient in this recipe came from my box of organic goodies – I’m pretty happy with that!
As for the miso brown butter sauce: yum. I know it’s hard to see it in the photos, because it’s not a particularly ‘saucy’ sauce, but it coats the pasta beautifully. And the flavour… ohhhh, the flavour. The brown butter’s sweet caramel flavour balances out the salty miso really nicely. It’s like a super gourmet version of buttered noodles.
And anything that makes me feel posh is a-okay in my book.
Finish it off with some roasted organic veggies for a quick and tasty dinner.
Do you ever buy organic food? If so, what differences do you notice between organic and non-organic? I’d be lying if I said I always buy organic, but the quality of these ingredients was fab! Definitely something I’ll be looking into more. Check out the #OrganicUnboxed video to find out more about organic food.
- 1 small courgette (zucchini)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 150 g button mushrooms (~ 2 cups)
- Black pepper
- 200 g wholewheat pasta (~ 2 1/3 cups)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp grated vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
- Black pepper
- 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
Slice the courgette, and toss in a little oil with the mushrooms and plenty of black pepper. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta in plenty of water until al dente (around 12 minutes).
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, and allow to cook over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, until it's slightly frothy, with brown specks appearing. Add the miso and honey, and mix to combine (you can also add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta's cooking water if it helps).
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the sauce. Mix well, and add the grated parmesan and some black pepper.
Serve with the roasted vegetables and crumbled feta cheese.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.
Got another courgette to use up? Make waffles!