Summer comes early in Baton Rouge.
Although Monday is the first day of spring, this Friday is 80+ degrees outside!
Can a food blogger help that she wants a cold, summer pasta salad with goat cheese and fresh zucchini?
Pictured: a segment of goat cheese encrusted with herbs.
Zucchini Almond Pasta Salad w/Goat Cheese
This recipe was inspired by a fun post over at Smitten Kitchen as part of my long list of “to try” recipes from Deb’s blog. You can find her variation here. For mine, I substitute colored whole wheat pasta instead of the spiral-cut ones and a combination of goat cheese and parmesan instead of just parmesan. Additionally, I used half regular olive oil and half walnut infused olive oil for more complex flavoring.
* 8 ounces (1/2 lb) pasta of your choice (such as fusilli)
* 2 zucchinis (about 1 1/2 pounds) halved lengthwise and cut very thinly (“carpaccio style”)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 ounce Parmesan
* 1 ounce soft goat cheese
* 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
* 5 tablespoons olive oil (I use equal parts regular Olive Oil w/Walnut-Infused Olive Oil from Fioré)
* 1 lemon, juiced
* freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Before prepping your pot, spray the pot’s bottom with a thick coat of non-stick spray, then add your water and salt. This step will ensure that very little pasta sticks to the bottom (and guess what? It totally works!).
2.) Add pasta to pot when boiling and cook until al dente and strain allowing to rest and cool 5 minutes (remember to keep tossing your pasta so that it doesn’t begin to stick together as it dries). I used an Italian colored pasta made from whole wheat.
3.) Meanwhile, toast almonds lightly in a small skilled with nonstick spray. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4.) Wash zucchini and de-stem.
5.) Cut in half lengthwise.
6.) Using the side-slot on a standard kitchen grater, thinly slice your zucchini.
Zucchini should be very thin, carpaccio-style.
7.) Add zucchini to a colander and salt thoroughly. Allow zucchini to rest and drain for 20 minutes.
8.) Transfer zucchini to a bowl, add toasted almonds, parmesan, goat cheese, and pepper. Mix to combine.
9.) Prepare marinade: add 2 1/2 tablespoons regular olive oil with 2 1/2 tablespoons walnut-infused olive oil. Whisk together with the juice of one lemon. Add drained pasta to mixture, add marinade and mix all ingredients until fully combined. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.
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Written by: Helana Brigman