09 July 2012

Olive² Spaghetti and Raw Fennel Salad with Pistachio-Parsley Pesto

I was in a foul mood when I started preparing this food, but by the time we sat down to eat it I was doing a happy-dance. I’ve told Ric the next time I snap at him or get moody he should tell me to go cook something…bare-foot in the kitchen (although I guess we’ll see how well that suggestion pans out).
Anyway, fennel makes me happy- it’s my new favourite ingredient since it’s so versatile. It’s also so fresh and crunchy and ever-so-slightly liquoricey that it makes even carb-laden meals feel light and healthy. And what carb-laden meal would be complete without the lovely tangy and salty combination of calamata and green olives. And it will all make you feel happy, so that also helps.

Ingredients for Olive² Spaghetti (serves 2)
  • 1/2 - 2/3 pack spaghetti
  • 1 cup halved green olives
  • 1 cup halved black calamata olives
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup water  
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon (optional)
Boil the spaghetti al dente, drain and place in large bowl.
Add the breadcrumbs, water and olive oil to the spaghetti and mix (the water and olive oil stop the breadcrumbs from drying the spaghetti out too much).
Add the olives, parsley, salt and pepper and mix.
Drizzle with lemon juice and a bit more olive oil.

Ingredients for Raw Fennel Salad
  • 4 (large) or 6 (medium) fennel bulbs
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 3/4 cups olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parsley
  • 1tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice / balsamic vinegar (optional)

Cut the bottom and stems off from the fennel so you are left with the bulbs (you can keep the fennel sprigs for later use in a pasta or soup or for baking with some tofu). Halve the bulbs and slice.
In a blender combine the pistachios, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Turn the blender on and slowly add the olive oil until the mixture achieves a pesto-like consistency.  
Pour the pistachio pesto onto the fennel and mix. Drizzle with some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.


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