Zucchagetti ~ AND~ Raw Zucchini with Carrot Salad. With summer bringing in lots of fresh vegetables, I find myself looking for ideas to use more and more vegetables in our meals.... be it in the raw form or cooked. Zucchini is readily available during the summer months, and if you've ever grown zucchini, well, you know you won't be lacking zucchini for a while:). We know zucchini is a prolific producer, so if you have lots of plants, you'll probably need to share them with others... and even then you will need to come up with plenty of ideas to use them up.
For the most part, I love to grill zucchini, I think that's our absolute favorite way of eating them. Drizzle a bit of chimichurri-style sauce, and it's the best. I'll also use the zucchini in various other dishes( I love the zucchini boats or vegetable lasagna), but in general, I try to stay away from deep-frying zucchini or using it in desserts. So when I happened to come across this recipe for Zucchagetti( Food 52 ) and this recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti(Martha Stewart), I instantly knew I would end up making it.... or a version of it anyway. I simply love the fact that the zucchini was used raw... making it ideal as a cool, refreshing side dish that's just perfect for the warm summer months. It's quite interesting, but over the years I've slowly adapted to eating more raw vegetables... and some I never would have:). Zucchini was one of those vegetables that I'd always cook before consuming.
This year I was gone quite a bit from home, so I haven't planted any vegetables in my garden. Instead, I've been going to our local farmer's market weekly... managed to come home with a few zucchinis to use up during the week. While I liked the Zucchagetti, I thought to lighten the dish a bit and make my own version of a raw zucchini salad. Nothing fancy, just a mix of ingredients I had readily available in the fridge. But I rather liked it, so I'm sharing the recipe. It's really not much of a recipe... rather some julienned vegetables that's seasoned and tossed with some olive oil and vinegar. Simple and yet a different way of using up zucchini. Sure it might not appeal to too many, but if you have plenty of zucchini on your hands, and are looking to try something different, then you might want to try one(or both) of these dishes. Just thought to share some ideas:) Hope you enjoy...
Note: While the original recipes do not have Parmesan as an ingredient, I chose to add some to a second batch I made... loved it. But feel free to omit.
Tip: I could easily see this dish paired with some salmon(or other type of fish) to make a light summer meal.
You will need:
2 lbs zucchini( or mix with some yellow zucchini)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup half and half (you could use a light cream)
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS olive oil
fresh parsley or tarragon or basil, to taste (can be optional)
salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4-1/3 cup chopped chives
finely grated parmesan cheese, to taste and optional
1. Using the julienne gadget or blade of a mandoline, slice zucchini into long, thin strips.
2. Add zucchini to a colander and toss zucchini with salt. Let stand for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
3. Gently squeeze zucchini to extract excess water. Transfer to a bowl and toss with just enough dressing( you probably won't need all of it) to evenly coat the zucchini.... add chives and grated Parmesan cheese(if using). Mix again and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve.
Raw Zucchini and Carrot Salad... with basic olive oil, vinegar dressing.
Tip: You can add some toasted nuts for extra crunch and flavor. Feel free to add an Asian twist by using some sesame oil, rice vinegar and a bit of soy sauce.... and top with some chopped cilantro.
You will need:
1 lb zucchini, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
1/3 of an onion( I used a sweet onion), sliced
1 red jalapeno pepper, sliced
2 TBS olive oil, or to taste
1-2 TBS apple cider vinegar( or lemon/lime juice), or to taste
herb of choice/chives, optional
1. Cut long oval shaped 1/4 inch slices of zucchini , then cut the slices in fine strips(julienne). Do the same with the carrot. Add to a salad bowl
2. Cut the onion in thin 1/8 in slices. Do the same with the red jalapeno pepper (you may want to cut the hot chile slices in half). Add to salad bowl.
3. Toss the cut up vegetables with some of the olive oil and vinegar. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Taste and then adjust seasoning. You may need to add a bit more oil/vinegar or salt and pepper. Make it according to your taste. Sprinkle with fresh herbs/chives( if using) and toss lightly. Serve.