Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ottolenghi's Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

At the beginning of each week I like to make a healthy salad to keep in the fridge for snacking, lunches, and quick little nibbles here and there.  I find that if I have something ready and waiting I am much less likely to eat impulsively.   

This week I made Ottolenghi's Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad, which is a completely different take on pasta salad than what I'm accustomed to.  First of all, this salad is brimming with shades of green: glorious rounds of fried zucchini, pale green edamame, and an herby pesto-based sauce. The salad is brightened up with lemon zest, capers, and a splash of red wine vinegar then tossed with the pasta and soft chunks of fresh mozzarella.  I must admit, my favorite part are those squishy little bites of fresh mozzarella (I am a cheese lover after all).  This is definitely a keeper!

Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad
Adapted from Plenty
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1-1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 cup frozen edamame
2 cups basil leaves, shredded ocarsely
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
9 ounces penne
grated zest of 1 lemon
1-1/2 tablespoon capers
7 ounces buffalo mozzarella, torn by hand (or any fresh mozzarella)
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain and rinse under a stream of cold water.  Return to the pan in which it was cooked.

Fry the zucchini slices in a few batches in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes or until they are golden brown.  As they are cooked, transfer to a colander to drain.  Tip the zucchini slices into a bowl, pour over the vinegar and stir, then set aside.   

Blanch the edamame for 3 minutes in boiling water; drain, refresh under running cold water and set aside to dry.   

Combine half the basil, all of the parsley and the olive oil in a food processor, adding a bit of salt and pepper.  Blitz to a smooth sauce.

Pour the zucchini and their juices over the pasta.  Add the edamame, pesto, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella.  Stir gently together, then taste and season with plenty of salt and pepper.  Before serving, stir in the remaining basil. 

Theme: A squash is a squash, of course of course
Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen

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