Because I’m the resident foodie here in my neighborhood, I’m usually the one hosting dinner parties. And that’s totally fine by me because of all the recipe development and testing that I have to do every week. I’d rather feed my friends than to see all the food go to waste. But sometimes, the recipe development goes awry and the dish just fails. Yes, so bad it would ruin my rep as the kitchen superstar. In those moments, I whip out my never-fail-save-my-dinner-party dish. Of course, I hide all evidence of the earlier recipe disaster in the trash.
So, what’s that dish? Well, honestly it’s not even MY recipe, it’s part of a recipe from Heidi’s 101 Cookbooks blog called Otsu. I’ve committed to memory the lemon-ginger dressing that’s in the Otsu dish and use it for everything – tossed with warm noodles, drizzled on roasted cauliflower, as a salad dressing and even to top grilled fish. Yes, it’s that good.
I’ve left the recipe really flexible for you – in case you want this as your emergency back-up dish too! In this dish, I used some really nice Japanese shimeji mushrooms, but you can use any type of fresh mushrooms that you want, even thinly sliced button mushrooms. The pasta that I used in the photo is dried Japanese udon noodles, but standard dried spaghetti is just as good. For the fresh herbs, just use what you have either growing in the garden or bagged in the refrigerator.
Lemon Ginger Dressing
- 3/4 teaspoon Asian chlli powder (or cayenne)
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 inch section of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 9 ounces dried noodles (spaghetti, linguine, udon, soba)
- 7 ounces fresh mushrooms (enoki, shimeji, sliced button, sliced shitake)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, green onion, cilantro or basil)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Make the dressing by combining all ingredients, except for the sesame oil and olive oil in a food processor or hand blender. Run the blender for a few seconds, until all ingredients are combined. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.
2 In a pot, cook the dried noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
3 Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the butter and when the butter starts bubbling, add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms for 2 minutes.
4 In a large bowl, toss the cooked noodles with the mushrooms, fresh herbs, sesame seeds and some of the dressing (to taste.)