It’s that time of year again; the tail end of the school year when buying groceries is a gamble. Am I really going to use this stock of brussels sprouts or this whole bag of spinach? With the excitement/craziness of finals week it’s hard to plan more than 24 hours ahead. So it’s at times like these when I go into a kind of Chronicles of Narnia mode. Instead of climbing into a wardrobe to reach mystical lands, I stare into my pantry until I find interesting dinner items.
It is also apparently prime time for meyer lemons. My co-worker brought in a huge bag of them from her tree early last week and I’ve been puzzling over what to make with them since then. Luckily I happened to have some homemade ricotta (recipe link below) that my mom and I whipped up during Thanksgiving week and it was calling out to the lemons. I also happened to have some black garlic, which is a great thing and loves to be mashed into cheese.
If you are sardine adverse, leave off the sardines.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch truffle salt (or normal salt)
- 1 tsp crushed peppercorns
- 1 tbsp capers
- 5 cloves black garlic
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 2 Meyer lemons
- 1 cup orzo (dry)
- truffle marcona almonds (plain old marcona almonds will work too)
- 1 big handful arugula
- 7 kumato tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
- 4 sardines in tomato sauce (or not in tomato sauce)
- bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with a pinch of truffle salt or normal salt
- slice lemons thinly (remove seeds), saving the butts for the juice, slice 2 cloves of the black garlic
- cook the orzo 8-10 minutes or until done and drain
- meanwhile heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and add the sliced black garlic and lemon, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lemons soften
- remove skillet from heat and add capers, stirring to coat
- in a shallow bowl crush remaining black garlic cloves into the ricotta, squeeze the lemon butts into the mixture. crush pepper corns with a knife and mix into the ricotta
- when orzo is cooked and drained, move to a large bowl or back into the pasta pot and immediately stir in the lemon-caper-black garlic mixture
- then stir in the ricotta mixture, mix until fully incorporated
- slice arugula and add into the warm orzo mixture
- serve in bowls then slice tomatoes and chop marcona almonds and sprinkle over the top
- then top with the sardines and you have a fish out of water
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