Serves 4 to 6
The unrefined corn oil produced by Spectrum Naturals of Petaluma is a revelation. It is full-flavored and rich with the taste of fresh corn, qualities that are lost in cooking. The oil should be used in small quantities as a flavoring agent. The oil is highly unstable, which means it will go rancid quickly. Use it within two or three months of purchasing it, and if you sense a slight tingly, bitter taste on the tip of your tongue, you should return it to the store where you purchased it.
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
1/3 cup raisins or currants
Pinch of saffron threads
12 ounces seme di melone,
orzo, or other seed-shaped pasta
1/3 cup unrefined corn oil
2 to 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from half a lime)
Pinch of sugar
Black pepper in a mill
8 ounces cooked and peeled bay shrimp
1 pound fresh shelling peas,
shelled (about 1/2 cup shelled)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1 lime, cut in wedges, for garnish
In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup water and the raisins; set aside. In a second small bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon warm water and saffron threads; set aside. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until it is just done, drain it, rinse it in cool water, drain it thoroughly, and place it in a medium bowl.
Mix together the corn oil, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and saffron and water mixture. Taste, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar for more tartness, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the pasta. Toss lightly. Drain the raisins and add them to the salad, along with the shrimp, peas, cilantro, and mint. Toss again, taste, and correct the seasoning. Garnish with lime wedges and serve immediately.
The New Cook's Tour of Sonoma
By Michele Anna Jordan
Sasquatch Books, 2000
320 pages, full color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created June 2001
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