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Ottolenghi’s Pasta and Fried zucchini Salad along with a List of the Martha Stewart’s of the World

pasta and fried zucchini salad ala London's Ottolenghi Restaurant

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; PlentySeasons, 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:

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

Cooking Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain & rinse with cold water.
  2. 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.
  3. Blanch the edamame for 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. 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.
  5. Combine the pasta, zucchini with vinegar, edamame, basil sauce, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella. Stir gently and season with lots of salt and pepper.
  6. Before serving, stir in the remaining basil.

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