Last weekend I participated in the annual Robinett Women Christmas Shopping Extravaganza in Seattle with my Mom, sister and sister-in-law. Every year my Mom treats us lucky girls to lunch, a night at the Grand Hyatt and a good dinner. We usually eat lunch at Palomino and then go our own economy boosting separate ways before meeting up for dinner, this year at Lola. This year I spent an inordinate amount of time at Anthropologie. I love that store. I love the Christmas ornaments, I love the housewares, I love the fake rhino trophies, I love the shoes that I can’t afford, I love the clothes that I can’t afford and I especially love looking at the cookbooks. Some of the titles were: Rotis, Roasts for every day of the week; Miette, Recipes from Sanfrancisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop; Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson; The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen; Milk and Cookies; Poulet; Plenty; Seasons, the Best of Donna Hay Magazine; and Homemade by Clodagh McKenna. There were many more to choose from and I wanted to buy every single one of them. Restraint was called for, so I only bought Poulet and Plenty. My curiosity was piqued, though, who was Donna Hay and why hadn’t I read her magazine? Who was Clodagh McKenna? I learned Donna Hay is Australian and Clodagh McKenna is Irish and they are the “Martha Stewart”s of their respective countries. Oh my gosh, I soon realized there is probably a “Martha Stewart” in every country and I want to know who they are. So, this is my list so far. This list is far from exhaustive, so let me know if you know of any more. Also, I think our Martha sets the gold standard – I don’t think any of these other “Martha” types is as industrious and multi-tasking as the original.
A List of Some of the “Martha Stewarts” of the World:
- Australia – Donna Hay
- Canada – Bonnie Stern
- China – Yue-Sai Kan
- Cuba – Margarita Galvez Martinez
- France – Jocelyne Sibuet
- India – Tarla Dalal
- Ireland – Clodagh McKenna
- Italy – Maria Liberati
- Japan – Harumi Kurihara
- Sweden – Tina Nordstrom
- UK – Delia Smith
Okay, enough of my Martha Stewart digression…..So, this week I made a recipe out of my new cookbook, Plenty – Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. This cookbook has the greatest pictures and very, very interesting recipes. I decided to make the pasta and fried zucchini salad recipe, a recipe perhaps better suited to the end of summer, but a nice bright pick-me-up on a cold, gloomy, winter day. It had a lot of my favorite ingredients in it – pasta, edamame, fresh mozzarella, basil, lemon and capers, so I knew I’d like it. Well, I have to report that Coco and I loved it and the big kids of the family didn’t. Of course, I like to say their palates are not quite as refined as their mother’s……Anyways, this is a keeper and I’ll be making it again (but, probably not until summer!).
Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad
Recipe from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 medium zucchini, cut in 1/4 inch slices
- 1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup edaname
- 2 cups basil, coarsely shredded
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves (I used italian)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 9 oz. strozzapreti or penne pasta
- grated zest of one lemon
- 1 1/2 T. small capers
- 7 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks
- Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain & rinse with cold water.
- Fry the zucchini in batches in the vegetable oil over medium heat until brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side). Remove to a paper towel to drain and then mix with the vinegar.
- Blanch the edamame for 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Combine half the basil, all of the parsley and the olive oil in a food processor, adding salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Make sure it is salty enough.
- Combine the pasta, zucchini with vinegar, edamame, basil sauce, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella. Stir gently and season with lots of salt and pepper.
- Before serving, stir in the remaining basil.