Archive for August, 2015

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.


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


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



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


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



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.


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


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


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