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Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine E Pinoli The geometry of pasta involves pairing up the perfect shape with the perfect sauce. According to Caz Hildebrand, co-author of the Geometry of Pasta, doing so, ” . . . makes the difference between pasta dishes that are merely ordinary and truly sublime.” In this recipe, the simple lemon and olive oil dressing lightly coats the farfalle pasta, also known outside of Italy as bow-tie pasta. The fragrance and flavors of briefly sautéed slices of zucchini, shreds of fresh basil and Italian parsley, and toasted pine nuts combine to make this recipe “truly sublime.” As a matter of fact, I give it a four “S” rating for Super Special Summer Salad.

Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine e Pinoli
The Geometry of Pasta

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound farfalle
3 smallish, firm zucchini (2/3 pound), thinly sliced in 2-4-millimeter rounds
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup pine nuts
Oil for frying the pine nuts
A small handful each of basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely shredded
Grated Parmesan, to serve, (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Boil the farfalle until cooked as you would like them, then drain and cool under cold running water.

2. Heat a frying pan until very, very hot over a high flame. Add the zucchini, then 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil, and a little salt. Sauté for a minute or so. When half-cooked, a few nicely browned, add the garlic and cook for a minute more. When still just underdone, turn off the heat, and leave in the pan to finish cooking. The zucchini should be partly coloured, fully cooked but still slightly crunchy, and nicely dry.

3. Make a dressing of the lemon zest, juice, and remaining 4½ tablespoons of olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To toast the pine nuts cover them with oil in a small pan and fry over a medium heat until pale amber.

5. When the zucchini and pine nuts have cooled to room temperature, toss with the pasta, herbs, and dressing.

6. Best left to stand for 20 minutes before eating plain or with a light grating of Parmesan.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Try to slice the zucchini so that the slices are uniformly thick. This helps to ensure that they are cooked evenly.

2. I drained the toasted pine nuts on a paper towel-lined plate. The next time I make this, I will use less oil to fry the pine nuts.

3. Before serving, I topped the dish with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and I also served some in a small bowl on the side for those who wanted more.

Enjoy!

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Wait! You should think twice before you say, “Ewww . . . kale!” and snub this recipe. Try to withhold judgement until after you taste this easy-to-make and nutrient-packed salad. The earthy flavor and color of dark green kale leaves are wonderfully offset by the tropical fruit flavor and bright color of mango. And what makes this salad different from other kale salads is the massaged kale. Yes, that’s right, MASSAGED. Most of us know that a little oil and a gentle massage go a long way to relax tense muscles. Kale undergoes a similar transformation after a short and gentle massage. The tough and fibrous strips of kale become relaxed and tender. What’s not to like about eight simple ingredients that when combined together create a beautiful salad and a healthier you?

Massaged Kale Salad
Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira

Ingredients:
1 large bunch of kale, stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons

Directions:
1. In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
2. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.
3. Pour the dressing over the kale and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.

Serves 4.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. The easiest way to remove stalks from kale leaves is to hold the stem end in one hand and, in one motion, pull the leaf away and down the stem with the other hand. Repeat until all stems are removed. Wash and dry leaves.
2. To cut the leaves, stack several leaves and then roll them into a cigar. Slice your kale “cigar” crosswise to form thin ribbons.
3. The lemon I used was large, so I added a little bit more honey to take away some of the tartness in the salad dressing.
4. Other fruit, such as peaches or strawberries, could easily be substituted for the mango.

ENJOY!

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Sweet summer corn is the key ingredient to this salad. Throw in some couscous, sweet onion, spicy curry, fresh red chili, and aromatic cilantro and you have an easy summer salad. Serve this flavorful salad with grilled lamb chops, fresh slices of vine-ripened melon, and a bottle of good wine. Sit back and enjoy your summertime feast. Better yet, invite some friends over to share the meal and enjoy the last days of summer together.

Corn and Couscous Salad
Recipe by Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp grainy mustard
1 T white-wine or sherry vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup couscous
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red chili, minced (optional)
3 C fresh corn kernels (about 4 cobs)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together curry powder, mustard, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons oil; whisk until emulsified. Set aside.

2. Place couscous in a large bowl. Bring 1 cup water to a boil; pour over couscous; stir to combine. Cover with a plate; let steam until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; set aside.

3. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili; cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook until bright yellow and just tender, about 2 minutes. Stir corn mixture into couscous. Add curry vinaigrette and cilantro; toss to combine. Serve warm or over at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I don’t know what size portions Martha serves, but this certainly makes more than four servings. My guess is at least six plus.

2. To make this dish healthier, quinoa could be substituted for the couscous.

3. I used sweet white corn. Each corn cob yielded 1 cup of kernels. Because I had husked four ears of corn, I used 4 cups of kernels in the salad instead of the specified 3. I liked the additional corn in the salad and will make it again with this amount.

Enjoy!

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