19 August 2011

Raw "Pasta", Al Dente

I finally got around to cooking a meal now that I'm back; there was a bit of eating out and lazy nights to get the beans and rice diet out of my system. But now I'm back in the kitchen and my non-existent slave-driving domestic partner couldn't be happier. And, actually, my coworkers are happy too - bread has resumed. The bread won't get much space; it was roughly this recipe without the potato or walnuts, and 10% of the flour weight replaced with polenta. Very chewy, very runny dough, with a bit of a crunch and sweetness from the polenta.
For my first cooked dinner, I wanted to take advantage of the bounty of fresh, delicious vegetables one gets in the Bay Area. I also didn't want to cook. So I compromised - I would prep something, but it would be raw. I've had (and made) raw "pasta" consisting of shredded carrots and zucchini a few times. The prep time is minimal, unless you are an idiot like me and decided to slice the veggies with a knife instead of using a cheese grater. Don't do that, unless you have a lot of patience, a very sharp knife, and like things crunchy. Just, you know, use a cheese greater. Hell of a lot easier to eat, as well. You also want to make sure you use a very flavorful tomato - something big and heirloomy; the tomato is a lot of the flavor in this dish and a weak-ass roma really won't cut it. I also want to draw special attention to the cheese I used - wasabi chevre. With real wasabi, not a horse radish base. This stuff is divine and you should go buy some and put it on everything you could imagine putting chevre on.
Raw "Pasta" Al Dente
Serves 1 (not all by itself, mind you)

1 good sized carrot, grated or sliced very thinly
1 good sized zucchini, grated or sliced very thinly
1 giant (or 2 normal) heirloom tomatoes, the more flavor the better
wasabi chevre (or really any very soft cheese)
grated parmesan
~1 tbsp olive oil
~2 tsp rice vinegar
freshly ground salt and pepper

In a bowl, combine the carrot and zucchini. Slice the tomato into wedges and squeeze them very lightly over the bowl, then throw them in as well. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss to coat everything evenly. Add more of ingredients if needed for taste. Serve on plate, sprinkled with parmesan and topped with a dollop of chevre.

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