Plenty: Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook has 120 perfected and creative vegetarian recipes. This Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad is one of them. The pasta salad combines pesto (not the traditional kind with cheese and garlic, more of a simple parsley-basil oil pesto), edamame, lemon zest, fried vinegar-marinated zucchini slices, basil leaves, strozzapreti (a curled up chewy pasta), capers, and fresh mozzarella. If every one of his vegetarian dishes is as wholesome, flavorful, and satisfying as this vegetable “bowl”, then I must make more of Ottolenghi’s recipes.
Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad
- Salt and black pepper
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
- 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup frozen edamame, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 9 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons capers
- 7 ounces fresh mozzarella in water, drained and torn into chunks
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place zucchini slices between two paper towels, and press out excess water a couple of times.
- In a medium skillet, heat vegetable 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, shaking with a couple pinches of salt, then transfer to a large bowl and pour vinegar on top. Set aside.
- In the hot water, cook edamame for 3 minutes, or if frozen, follow packaging instructions. Drain and run cool water over. Set aside to dry. Leave pot boiling, then cook pasta until al dente in it. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, mix pasta with fried zucchini and any juices, basil-parsley oil, edamame, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella. Stir gently together until incorporated, then season generously with salt and pepper. Right before you serve it, stir in remaining basil leaves.
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