Here we are. The end of the alphabet. I have made it to Z, leaving me at rather a loose end. Do I go back and start again? Do I farewell Edible Alphabet and start something new? Let me know what you think, any ideas or suggestions are most welcome.
So Mr. Z. The obvious ingredient is the humble zucchini. The vegetable that is so versatile due to the fact it is fantastic at soaking up any flavours you throw its way. Last night I wanted to create a dish that was summery and fresh, but also comforting and homely. The beauty of this meal lies in the quality of the ingredients as it is such a simple combination. Try and buy the best you can (somewhat difficult to find fresh mozzarella in Taipei, I promise you!) and you will be rewarded.
Herby pasta with zucchini, mozzarella and other good things
3 cloves garlic
1 small handful of capers
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 big ball of fresh mozzarella
1 handful of basil
1 handful of coriander
1 handful of parsley
Good olive oil
Sunflower oil for frying
Generous amounts of salt and pepper
First of all, put on your pasta water. While this is coming to the boil, you want to shallow fry your zucchini in sunflower oil. My best advice I can give you here is – don’t crowd the frying pan! You are better to do them in batches rather than trying to jam them all in at once. Once they are done, put them aside in a bowl with the juice of a lemon (keep the zest for later), most of the herbs finely chopped and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
By this stage you should be ready to put your pasta in to cook. Get out the good olive oil and put a few big glugs in the frying pan with the garlic cloves. You don’t need to chop the garlic, just let it infuse the olive oil. When the cloves had browned slightly. but not burnt, remove and add the lemon zest and capers. Beware- they will spit at you!
When your pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the olive oil frying pan with the zucchini mixture and then tear the mozzarella in as well. Combine all the ingredients so you have a tasty meal. I like to put the whole pan on the table, sprinkle over the left over herbs,
and let people dish it up themselves..
and pick at the leftovers when they are done!
We then took the rest of the wine up to the top of Ollie’s apartment building and enjoyed the welcome soft breeze, respite from the relentless heat of the day. Long distance relationships are definitely a drain, but they do make you appreciate the little moments. A dinner cooked and shared. The ultimate.