The Tao of Shawn

Ok…for years now, my dear friend, Shawn, has been on my case to become a food critic/writer and/or to start a food blog. Now that my youngest is two, and I am eeking out a few more seconds each day, craving some bit of return to ME as distinct from the ME as Mommy, it is without further ado that I launch my cooking-eating-wine drinking-mommy reflecting-politics musing-animal welfare loving-gardening attempting blog, Em-i-Lis (adapted from fleur-de-lis, my favorite icon).  We just returned from a food- and wine-saturated week in New Orleans where the fleur-de-lis is ubiqitous, an homage to Louisiana’s French heritage and now an official state symbol:

Upon return to cold, gray, tired-of-winter DC, I raced to the garden center to buy lettuces that I intend to nurture lovingly until I can actually plant them outside, and determined to utilize fresh greens in all dinners made in the future (dear Tom is actually starting to cotton to greens!). This past Monday, I decided to riff on a wilted greens and mascarpone pasta I made a while back; my version was sublime, and while enjoying it, Tom and I started noodling (hah: no pun intended) on Shawn’s idea.

Here’s the recipe:

Whole Wheat Linguine with Sauteed Dandelion Greens, Mascarpone and Lemon

enough linguine for two people, cooked in boiling, salted water

one bunch dandelion greens, center stalks removed, leaves torn up

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced


zest of 1 lemon

knob of mascarpone

salt, pepper for seasoning

Parmesan for grating into and over

In a large skillet, heat EVOO over med-high heat, add garlic and then greens; stir often to wilt greens and avoid burning your garlic (such a bust!). Squeeze half of your zested lemon over the greens while they’re cooking. Once greens are nicely wilted, remove skillet from heat but keep warm. When linguine is done to your liking, drain quickly and dump on top of greens (definitely OK if a little pasta water heads into the skillet too). Add lemon zest, salt, pepper and your generous knob of mascarpone. Stir until mascarone is incorporated and then grate Parm over top. Then stir again and bring that Parm to the table with you.

I served this with Stag’s Leap Karia Chardonnay- delish. Only the vaguest hint of oak which is just my style (if you don’t already know, I loathe oaky/buttery/syrupy CA chards!).

Aah, Oliver up from his nap. Adieu!