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


  1. I almost picked this recipe! You've reminded me that I need to get in the kitchen and make my salad for this week's lunch. Totally agree that I eat way better when something is made ahead. If not, I end up grazing on junk. I think the mozzarella would be my favorite part too, but the fried zucchini and capers sound fantastic too.

    Happy Mother's Day, Kim!

  2. As much as I loved the salad I made this week, this one looks like I might love it even more. (Especially with those bites of mozzarella and my caper fetish!) ;-) Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  3. I made this last summer and it was one of my favorite pasta salads! Those mozzarella bites are the BEST.

  4. That salad sounds delicious,Kim! I love salads like this one...filling and full of flavor!

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  6. I've made this one several times now, Kim - it is definitely one of my favourite Ottolenghi dishes. This is the kind of thing that I am happy to eat for a complete meal, and I usually make a big batch - eat one big serving for dinner, and then have a couple of smaller servings for lunches for the next two days. So glad you enjoyed it.

  7. This sounds fantastic Kim. I would love to look through that cookbook. I've read a lot of great reviews about it.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  8. I want! And yes perfect for a few lunches, I think this may have to be lunches next week :) I am with you, I need to be organized & having some lunches good to go in the fridge is definitely the way to go, oh & yes the mozzarella just adds that lovely little bit of luxe, which I think we all deserve a little of :)

  9. I like to keep something in the fridge for snacking, lunches, and quick little nibbles here and there, too. I call it "ice cream" ha ha ha :) ;) :0

    This looks good, Kim. I will keep it in mind with the bounty of summer zucchini comes in.

  10. this looks AMAZING especially with those blobs of mozzarella

  11. Thanks, this is a great looking recipe. And now that summer's here we'll have more zucchini than we know what to do with! Nice to have a new recipe for it.


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