Oh, this is a fun week at the cooking club and who doesn’t appreciate a lighter meal now and then, tonight a nice salad and a light zoodle dish with shrimp and ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, dressed with fresh lemons, red chilies, and pine nuts. The two recipes I chose are from two of our featured chefs this week, Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi both light recipes for a warm winter day and both recipes would fit into last week’s “zero food waste” theme as well since I attacked the final items in the veggie bin.
I love roasted vegetables and for this recipe, just a few peppers are roasted and marinated for at least an hour or overnight and added to a salad of herbs, greens, capers and finally dressed with some of the already made dressing.
My second recipe was a new to me recipe using zucchini and yellow squash, but Mike didn’t care for the zoodles, I enjoyed them and I had enough left for lunch the next day, it was a nice change from pasta.
For the Salad:
1 red bell pepper or 4 mini peppers, quartered, a discounted package of 3 or multi-colored mini peppers at $3.49 for 1 pound bag
1 yellow bell pepper or 4 mini peppers, quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon muscovado sugar (regular is just fine)
2 thyme sprigs (optional)
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced (optional)
black pepper to taste
2 tablespoon Italian parsley, leaves picked (optional)
2/3 cup basil leaves
1 cup watercress, arugula, or mixed greens
2 ounces Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano or Manchego (see notes above), shaved
1 tablespoon drained capers
Preheat the oven to 375º. Toss the peppers with 1 tablespoon of the oil and a little salt. Scatter them in a roasting pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until they soften and take on some color. Remove to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Once cooled to room temperature, peel the peppers and cut into thin strips. Layer in a storage vessel, adding a light sprinkling of salt to each layer.
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil, the balsamic vinegar, water, sugar, thyme (if using), garlic (if using) and some salt and pepper. Pour this over the peppers and leave aside for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge.
To assemble the salad, toss together the herbs, greens, drained pepper strips, cheese, and capers. Add more of the marinade as needed so that the greens are lightly coated. Toss, taste, adjust with more salt, pepper or marinade as needed.
Lemon Prawn Courgehheti, adapted from Jamie Oliver any my version serves 6
1 lb large raw peeled shrimp, locally purchased at a 50 pound discount of $4.50 per lb.
120 g ripe cherry tomatoes, on the vine
3 medium courgettes
1 clove of garlic
½ a fresh red chili…red pepper flakes work as well but add a very mild jalapeno or serrano
extra virgin olive oil
20 g pine nuts (cheaper bought in bulk)
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Devein the prawns, place in a mixing bowl.
Grate in half the lemon zest and squeeze in half the juice, then season with sea salt and black pepper.
Stir, then leave to one side for the flavors to mingle while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Place the cherry tomatoes on a small baking sheet and roast in the hot oven for 6 to 7 minutes, or until they’re starting to burst.
Meanwhile, use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to finely slice the courgette into long, thin strips of courgetti. Set aside.
Peel the garlic, then finely slice with the chili.
Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Tip in the sliced garlic and chili and fry until lightly golden, then add the prawns and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, turning regularly until nearly cooked through.
Place the courgetti in the pan along with the cherry tomatoes, then squeeze over the remaining lemon juice. Cook, tossing often, for 1 minute, or until everything is hot.
Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until golden, then lightly crush.
Divide between plates, scatter over the crushed pine nuts, drizzle over a little oil, and serve.