Plenty, by Yotam Ottlenghi is a fabulous cookbook filled with unusual and delicious vegetable recipes. This pasta and fried zucchini recipe is a great way to use up your overflowing zucchini and herb gardens. Cook’s Note – You can substitute peas for the edamame.

Fry the zucchini until golden brown

Make the basil sauce

Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Eden Organic brand red wine vinegar, which contains only naturally occurring sulfites. Unico capers are additive-free and look for mozzarella with no preservatives or colour.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup (150 ml) sunflower oil

3 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch-thick (0.6 cm) slices

1 ½ tablespoons (25 ml) red wine vinegar

¾ cup (175 ml) frozen edamame

2 cups (500 ml) basil leaves, coarsely chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) parsley leaves

1/3 cup (75 ml) olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

9 ounces (255 g) penne or other short pasta

Zest of 1 lemon, grated

1 ½ tablespoons (25 ml) capers

7 ounces (198 g) buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While you’re waiting, in a medium saucepan or skillet, heat sunflower oil over medium-high heat. Fry zucchini slices in batches for about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once, until golden on both sides.

Drain in colander, then transfer to a large bowl and pour vinegar on top. Set aside.

In the hot water, cook edamame for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water and set aside to dry.

Combine half of basil and all of the parsley and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta until al dente; drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer pasta back to empty pot. Add fried zucchini and any juices, basil-parsley oil, edamame, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella. Stir gently together, then season generously with salt and pepper. Right before you serve it, stir in remaining basil leaves. Serves 4.

From Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

This lovely summer salad from Cook’s Illustrated combines cooked Israeli couscous with pickled shallots, fresh greens, herbs, peas, pistachios and feta cheese.  Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta shaped in tiny balls, about the size of small peas. You can boil it like pasta, or let it absorb water, like rice. Cook’s Note: Prepare the shallots and let them pickle while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a red wine vinegar without sulphites; I use Eden Organic brand. Use fresh lemon juice and check the pistachios for colour and sulphites. Select a feta cheese with all-natural ingredients such as Tre Stelle.

Pickle the shallots first

Toasting the couscous before cooking brings out its nutty flavour

Use lots of greens and mint

Frozen peas are fine if fresh are not available

Israeli couscous with lemon, mint, peas, feta and pickled shallots

Ingredients:

Couscous

2 cups (500 ml) Israeli couscous

1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 ½ cups water (625 ml)

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt

Salad

1/3 cup (75 ml) red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar

Salt and pepper

2 shallots, sliced thin

3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) red pepper flakes

1 recipe couscous (see above), cooled

4 cups (1 L) baby arugula, roughly chopped

1 cup (250 ml) fresh mint leaves, torn

½ cup (125 ml) frozen peas, thawed

½ cup (125 ml) shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped

3 ounces (185 ml) feta cheese, crumbled

Preparation:

Couscous

Heat couscous and oil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until about half of grains are golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add water and salt; stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed, 9 to 12 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand, covered, for 3 minutes. Serve.

Salad

Bring vinegar, sugar, and pinch salt to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat, add shallots, and stir to combine. Cover and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, pepper flakes, and 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) salt together in large bowl. Add cooled couscous, arugula, mint, peas, 6 tablespoons (90 ml) pistachios, ½ cup (125 ml) feta, and shallots and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to serving bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup feta (60 ml) and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pistachios and serve. Serves 4.

From Cook’s Illustrated

This delicious salad from Bon Appetit is a delicious side dish or vegetarian entrée. Cook scallion whites, oil, hot pepper flakes and Sichuan pepper over a low heat to make the oil. To make the dressing combine the oil with tahini, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Combine with the cooked noodles of your choice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking additives. Tahini should contain only sesame. I use Marukan rice vinegar, tamari (which uses alcohol as a preservative, not sodium benzoate) and Spectrum Natural sesame oil.

Make the chili oil

Add the tahini and other ingredients to make the dressing

Sesame noodles with chili oil and scallions

Ingredients:

4 scallions, whites and greens separated, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seeds

2 teaspoons (10 ml) Sichuan pepper, coarsely chopped

12 ounces (340 g) thin ramen noodles or spaghettini

Kosher salt

¼ cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame seed paste)

¼ cup (60 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tablespoons (45 ml) reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons (10 ml) toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar

Preparation:

Cook scallion whites, vegetable oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is sizzling and scallions are golden brown, 12–15 minutes; let chili oil cool in saucepan.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and 2–3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) chili oil (depending on desired heat) in a large bowl; season with salt. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens and drizzle with more chili oil. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

The best ribs are cooked low and slow on a charcoal grill—but who has time to tend to the barbecue for hours? Instead, bake your ribs in a tangy marinade, pop them on the grill and baste them with your favourite barbecue sauce. This recipe from Lucy Waverman even gives you a great shortcut to make “half homemade” barbecue sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a Dijon without white wine or sulfites and make sure your spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Heinz ketchup, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco original hot sauce are all additive-free. I used Miss Diana’s barbecue sauce as the base for my sauce.

Pour the liquid over the ribs in a baking dish

Bake for about 90 minutes

Separate ribs and grill, basting with barbecue sauce

Oven-baked ribs

Ingredients:

2 racks pork back ribs

Marinade

1 cup (250 ml) water

1 cup (250 ml) cider vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) Dijon mustard

3 tbsp (45 ml) brown sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) hot-pepper flakes

½ tsp (2.5 ml) cayenne

½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

Half homemade spicy rib sauce

1 cup (250 ml) store-bought barbecue sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) ketchup

½ cup (125 ml) cider vinegar

1 tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp (5 ml) hot-pepper sauce

1 tsp (5 ml) cayenne pepper

1 tbsp (15 ml) chili powder

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).

Remove the membrane covering the bones as that stops the rub from properly absorbing. Using a small, sharp knife, work the tip under the thin membrane until you have enough to grasp. Then, using your fingers, peel it back and discard. It is easiest to start in the middle and pull each part away from the bones. Place ribs in a baking dish.

Whisk together water, vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper flakes, cayenne and salt until sugar dissolves. Pour over ribs and cover with foil. Bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until ribs are tender. Reserve ribs and discard liquid.

Preheat barbecue to medium and oil the grill. Grill ribs for 25 minutes or until brown and crispy, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.

Brush with barbecue sauce of your choice and continue cooking until sauce is glazed, about 15 minutes. Cut into ribs and serve with more barbecue sauce. Serves 4.

From Lucy Waverman

This delicious crumble from Lucy Waverman has been a big hit this summer. Fresh rhubarb and strawberries are tossed with spices, sugar, orange zest and butter and then topped with a mixture of sugar, flour, butter and either rolled oats or granola. Pop it in the oven and then serve the warm crumble with ice cream. Yum!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Granola may contain preservatives; I used plain rolled oats. Look for butter that does not contain colour.

Mix rhubarb and strawberries with spices, orange zest and butter

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Ingredients:

4 cups (1 L) chopped rhubarb, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 cups (500 ml) sliced strawberries

½ cup (125 ml) brown sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) ground ginger

½ tsp (2 ml) cinnamon

½ tsp (2 ml) nutmeg

2 tbsp (30 ml) grated orange rind

1 tbsp (15 ml) cold butter, cubed

Topping

½ cup (125 ml) brown sugar

½ cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour

¾ cup (175 ml) granola or rolled oats

½ cup (125 ml) butter

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange rind and butter in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20-cm) metal baking dish.

Mix together sugar, flour and granola. Cut in the butter with a pastry knife until the mixture looks crumbly. Sprinkle topping over baking dish, making sure the whole surface is covered.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is browned and the rhubarb syrup is bubbling. Serves 6.

From Lucy Waverman

You can make these tangy chicken wings from Lucy Waverman on either a gas grill or a charcoal barbecue, but the latter infuses them with delicious smoky flavour. These couldn’t be simpler to make; just combine hot sauce, cider vinegar and melted butter, toss the wings with oil salt and pepper, and grill them, basting every few minutes with some sauce. Cook’s note: keep the basting sauce separate from the serving sauce to avoid contamination from the raw chicken. You may also want to take it easy when salting the wings, as most hot sauces are very salty.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

There are lots of great hot sauces out there, and many don’t have artificial ingredients. Two classics – Frank’s Hot Sauce and Tabasco original hot sauce – are both additive-free. Look for butter that does not contain colour.

Grilling these wings over charcoal infuses them with smoky flavour

Ingredients:

Dunking sauce

½ cup (125 ml) hot sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) cider vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) melted butter

Wings

2 lb (1 kg) chicken wings, separated, wing tip discarded

2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Preheat grill to medium high. If using a charcoal grill, sprinkle some soaked wood chips on the coals; I used pecan wood chips.

Combine hot sauce, vinegar and melted butter. Remove ¼ cup for basting and reserve the rest.

Toss wings with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place wings on grill, and grill for 3 minutes on each side. Baste with sauce and turn over again. Repeat turning and basting with sauce every 3 minutes or until chicken wings are cooked through, about 12 minutes to 15 minutes total, depending on the size of the wings. You can throw the wings into the remaining sauce or serve separately for dipping. Serves 4.

From Lucy Waverman

This delicious, nutritious salad from Donna Hay’s Fresh and Light is a great combination of flavor and textures. Add wilted kale and fresh parsley to cooked red quinoa and toss with a smokey paprika dressing. Top with some grilled halloumi cheese and you have a wonderful side dish or vegetarian entrée. Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese typically made from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and, sometimes, cow’s milk. Because it has a high melting point, it is great for grilling or frying. Cook’s note: arugula would be a good substitute for kale in this salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Read the label on the cheese to ensure it does not contain additives or colour. Make sure the smoked paprika does not contain colour.

Pour boiling water over the kale to wilt it slightly

Cooked red quinoa, parsley and smokey lemon dressing

Halloumi has a high melting point, so it is great for grilling or frying

Toss quinoa, kale and parsley with dressing

Fry the halloumi for a few minutes on each side, until browned

Red quinoa, kale and halloumi salad

Ingredients:

5 oz (150 g) kale, trimmed

2.5 cups (750 ml) cooked red quinoa

½ cup (125 ml) flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 lb. (500 g) halloumi, thinly sliced

Olive oil, for brushing

For the smoky lemon dressing:

2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

1 tsp (5 ml) sweet smoked paprika

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

Preparation:

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions and set aside.

Cut the kale into large pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over and allow to stand for five minutes. Drain and pat dry. Toss the kale with the quinoa and parsley.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, paprika and oil. Pour over the salad and toss.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Brush the halloumi with oil and cook until golden. Divide the salad between serving plates and top with the halloumi to serve. Serves 4.

From Fresh and Light by Donna Hay

This stir-fry from Real Simple magazine combines economical chicken thighs with scallions, cucumber and noodles. The crispy garlic garnish adds flavour and crunch.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a chicken stock with no additives, preservatives or artificial flavour. I use Imagine Organic brand. Instead of soy sauce use tamari, which is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate.

Fry the garlic until crispy

Cook the chicken and set aside

Stir fry scallions and ginger

Add cucumber and stir-fry until tender

Serve over noodles

Ingredients:

8 ounces (250 g) linguine

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 pound (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstarch

Kosher salt

6 scallions, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths, plus additional sliced scallions for serving

2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger

1 English cucumber, sliced into half-moons

1/3 cup (75 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce

Preparation:

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the garlic to paper towels with a slotted spoon. Reserve the oil.

Combine the chicken, cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt in a bowl; toss to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved garlic oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the chicken in an even layer. Cook, without touching, until browned on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir and cook until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the scallions and ginger to the skillet. Cook over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cucumber and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken, pasta, broth, and soy sauce. Cook, stirring, until coated and hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with the sliced scallions and crispy garlic. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

This colourful salad from Chatelaine is a great side dish with grilled meat or seafood, and it would also be a good vegetarian entrée. Roast squash and toss with peppery arugula, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and feta. Drizzle with an apple juice-Dijon vinaigrette and enjoy.

Roast the squash until tender and beginning to brown

The squash and sweet dressing complement peppery arugula

Top with crumbled feta and dried cranberries

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a Dijon mustard without benzoate of soda or sulfites – I use President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon. Make sure the feta does not contain preservatives and that the cranberries do not contain sulfites. I used Ocean Spray craisins, which are additive-free.

Ingredients:

¾ cup (174 ml) apple juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) cider vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 tbsp (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard

1 butternut squash, about 1.4 kg, washed well

1 tbsp (15 ml) honey

½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

4 cups (1 L) baby arugula

1 cup (250 ml) crumbled feta

¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

2 tbsp (30 ml) dried cranberries

Preparation:

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Preheat to 400 F (200 C). Line 2 large baking sheets with foil.

Boil apple juice with vinegar and garlic in a small saucepan. Boil until reduced to ¼ cup (60 ml) about 10 min. Remove from heat and whisk in 3 tbsp (45 ml) oil and Dijon.

Cut a large, shallow slit through the skin of squash. Microwave on high to make it easier to cut, 3 to 5 min. Slice unpeeled squash in half and discard seeds. Cut into 1/3-in.-thick (0.8 cm) slices. Toss with remaining oil, honey and salt until coated. Spread out on prepared baking sheets. Roast until just tender and edges are starting to brown, about 15 min.

Divide arugula among plates. Top with warm squash. Drizzle with dressing. Top with feta, pepitas and cranberries. Serves 4.

From Chatelaine

This colourful salad is a great side dish with any grilled meat, fish or seafood. Zucchini and peppers are grilled or broiled and then tossed with cooked Israeli couscous, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and basil. Unlike regular couscous — small grains of durum wheat — Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta shaped in tiny balls, about the size of small peas. The cooking method is different too; to make regular couscous, you usually boil liquid, add the couscous, turn off the heat and let the couscous steam and absorb the liquid. To cook Israeli couscous, which is called Ptitim in Israel, you add the pasta to boiling water, reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta absorbs the liquid.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Sun-dried tomatoes and olives may contain preservatives. I use Mediterranean Organic sun-dried tomatoes and Pilaros black olives.

Grill or broil colourful vegetables

Mix with cooked Israeli couscous

This is a great side dish with grilled seafood, fish or meat

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) Israeli couscous

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, plus 2 tbsp reserved oil

1 tsp (5 ml) Maldon sea salt

1 yellow zucchini, sliced into 1/8″ (0.3 cm) thick rounds

1 green zucchini, sliced into 1/8″ (0.3 cm) thick rounds

1 red pepper, thickly sliced

1 orange pepper, thickly sliced

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup (60 ml) pitted and chopped kalamata olives

¼ cup (60 ml) red onion, finely diced

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook Israeli couscous for 12 minutes or until tender to the bite. Drain well, place in a large bowl and toss with sun-dried tomatoes, reserved oil and salt. Stir occasionally until cool. Meanwhile, heat the barbecue to medium. Toss all the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Grill until vegetables are tender and lightly charred. Allow to cool slightly and chop into 1/4″ (0.6 cm) dice. Stir into the couscous along with the olives, red onion and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

From Style at Home

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