By Winy Chen, Registered Dietitian at Beach Cities Health District
Alice Waters is the owner of Chez Panisse, a Berkeley, California-based restaurant famous for using organic, locally grown ingredients. In addition to being a world renowned chef, Alice is also passionate about garden education and made-from-scratch school lunches for children.
In her children’s cookbook, Fanny at Chez Panisse, there are dozens of great recipes that busy moms like myself can utilize. The following is adopted from her gremolata recipe. Gremolata is an herb mixture used to flavor dishes like chicken, fish or pasta. In this lemon parsley pasta recipe, I use gremolata as the basis and add some olive oil and lemon juice to create a zesty dressing. You can add nearly anything to the pasta like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, avocado, sliced olives, parmesan cheese and nuts.
Lemon Parsley Pasta
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
3 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
½ cup sliced olives
1 can ( 14-ounce) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cooked whole grain rotini pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash and dry the parsley. Pull the leaves off the stems and chop fine.
2. Grate the yellow rinds using a grater. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and set both aside.
3. Combine parsley, lemon rinds, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil in a small dish. Mix and set aside.
4. Combine all the chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Add beans and pasta. Toast and coat the mixture with parsley dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan cheese and/or chopped nuts if desired.