i read an article about a new michelin guide a few days ago. 京都 kyoto, where i am from, has 110 stars. i don’t care less about it, though, i am happy to live in a foodie nation and proud of kyoto as a gourmet city. japanese foods have gone more global than ever. i find even 蕎麦 soba, to cook just like pasta, quite often in the food blog sphere. but, 素麺 somen, another typical japanese noodle, seems not popular yet. as somen is usually served cold, we customarily eat it in summer. in autumn, many bundles of unused dry somen will be seen in the cupboard in my or anyone’s kitchen. so, i made a somen salad.
the other evening, i saw a tv news about 松茸 mastutake, pine mashroom, which is one of kyoto’s specialty crops. matsutake is in season! however, the report told us that this autumn would experience the worst ever season in years. the reporter even told us the price of matsutake mushrooms. believe it or not, it was 130, 000 yen (1,425 dollars or 958 euro) for only three. would you buy one? me? of course not, since i simply can’t afford it. instead, we can get some far cheaper imported matsutake. i bought chinese ones from my local super market. well, they are not exactly the same, but they are still mastutake.
meanwhile, i’ve recently tried a new bean, which we japanese call “morocco bean” somehow, for the first time ever in my life. they were just flat green beans basically, and probably similar to romano beans? a few sundays back, when i was still in the mood for a mediterranean summer meal, i made a salade niçoise with the beans. i ate it along with a lemon pasta, which i added that chinese matsutake. we are having another gorgeous sunday now. i still go sockless. a lovely autumn day like this should be called Indian summer, but i take liberties with it and call it mediterranean summer — perfect for a noodle dish.
somen salad: i always put lots and lots of vegetables, such as okura, red onion, tomatoes and young leaves, for any pasta salad. this time, i added some shredded left-over chicken sauté. this dish goes with sesame paste vinaigrette.
moroccan beans: i don’t know why this bean is called “morocco” bean in japan. does anyone know? by the way, i leaned that this bean is grown only in certain areas in japan. so, it looks like a pretty exclusive kind in terms of season and production.
lemon (needless to tell you?) and chinese matsutake: the shape of chinese matsutake is a bit different from japanese ones. but it’s affordable. i needed to overlook the fact that it had little aroma, obviously.
spaghetti al limone con funghi matsutake & salade niçoise (in the background): stir-fry sliced matsutake mushrooms in olive oil. smash garlic cloves roughly with a knife for garlicky extract and a flavour. add all the ingredients, together with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, to the cooked pasta while it’s really hot. you need salt and pepper to taste, of course. i love to use 紫蘇 shiso (japanese equivalent for Italian basil) leaves as a garnish.
hoping that you are having a gorgeous autumn sunday, too!