Flower power pasta

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Two flowers and a dish of spaghetti. Happy !

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My beloved nanohana are back on the market. They are the unopened blossoms of rape (the plant to make rapeseed/canola oil) and the greens around.

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Lots of leaves… They sell some like that, with lots of stalk, cheaply. It’s possible to buy only the blossom part and the first leaves, and it’s more expensive.
The pasta dish is very simple. I blanched the nanohana in the pasta water (1 minute before the end). Then added on the pasta, with parsley, salt, olive oil.

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There are still some edible miniature chrysanthemum. I think it’s good to eat flowers to fight pollen allergy. So I just placed them as toppings.

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A side dish : natto, kimchi, and cut shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves).

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New and fresh Japanese apples


Nature’s presents. Delicious Autumn fruits and other produce are overflowing. Well, they are natural to a point. You wouldn’t be impressed by wild apples that are randomly sweet, irregular and tiny like walnuts. The big juicy pretty fruits are the results of centuries of cultivations, grafts, crossings. Japan is very recent in the game as apple cultivation started seriously only from the 1920’s with a few imported trees. But they have really done great in the last decades, particularly for table apple (to eat raw, not cooking apples). These two have been created in the 1990’s.

This apple is 秋映 akibae (reflection of Autumn) from Nagano. The skin is incredibly dark red. It’s quite unusual and a bit pricey.

These are 黄王 kiou (yellow king). They are more common.

Maybe there are puns included in the names as kiou is homonym with “chess king” and akibae can mean phonetically “in direction of Akihabara”, the computer/electronic shop town inside Tokyo. So the red ones are people that play chess, and the yellow ones for nerds ?

Mizu nasu, the “water aubergine” you can eat raw


Do you know these Japanese mizu nasu (water aubergines) ? The particularity is you can eat them raw.
Of course they can be cooked too, like here :

veggie mille-feuille

The wiki article in Japanese is very interesting. They explain that has been traditionally cultivated in Osaka for many years. I wonder if they are more common here than in the rest of Japan. In Summer, all local shops have them.

The simplest way : I slice them, salt, let a while and rinse. Then I use as a salad.

With sweet chili sauce.

Other meals with these mizu nasu : click here.

Red favas from mujin yatai (desert market)

Red favas (broad beans), raw and cooked.

The mujin yatai is like a market stand, but without anybody there to sell. They put a bank box. You take a bag, you put a coin. I think that’s a good idea. Usually, they sell veggies, for a really low price. In the suburbs, farmers and amateur gardeners have some times too much produce for their family, so they do that. It’s rarer to see such stands in the city, but a nearby restaurant has one. They propose all the veggies and fruits they received in excess. So I pass there regularly… Yesterday, I took 2 bags :

And a few fresh onions.

These pods, with “red favas” on the label.

That’s the first time I see some. I had no idea if I could eat them raw. We do it with the green ones and they are slightly toxic… Well I slightly salted them and boiled them in the pods like edamame.

Inside, the beans became nearly black.

Leaves of Wasabi (via Gourmande in Osaka)

Last year

Leaves of Wasabi This is not a meal… This morning, I went to this market place and they taught us how to make *tsukemono* (pickles) with leaves of wasabi. Wasabi is the green Japanese horseradish. The grated root is often presented with sushi. … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka