Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini! It’s everywhere. People present you with gargantuan green squash at every possible turn. It’s as if there’s some sort of organized zucchini club whose mission it is to ensure everyone gets inundated by this voracious vegetable. Open your front door and chances are you’ll discover someone’s sneakily placed a load on your door mat. At first it’s exciting, “oh look honey, the first zucchini of the season.” You savor every mouthful happily enjoying fresh local produce that isn’t $1.27 per pound. And then, slowly the excitement wanes. Ding Dong…“Oh no! Zucchini again?”
Summer squash doesn’t keep, so even though you may be getting sick of it, you’ve got to eat it when it’s fresh. When zucchini abounds like that annoying friend who keeps stopping by, how do you keep it fresh and interesting. Why not make zucchini noodles?
Yup, noodles (or zoodles if you prefer).
Here’s what you’ll need:
3 small grocery store zucchini or 1 large garden variety
your favorite tomato sauce
1 lemon, zested
1 Tbsp oil
salt to taste
Begin by slicing your zucchini lengthwise into very thin strips so that what you have are long, thin pieces (about an 1/8 inch thick). You can do this with a knife or a mandolin. Slice until you get to the seeds in the middle, then stop and then turn the zucchini and slice from the other side. Eventually you’ll have gone ‘round the seeds in the middle and you’ll be left with a bunch of flat strips and a ‘core’. Send the core to the compost and get ready to chop some more.
Now, slice those flat long strips lengthwise into thin little strips that resemble noodles. Once you’ve got those zucchini noodles sliced up it’s time to fire up the frying pan.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat and when the oil is hot, add enough ‘noodles’ to cover the bottom of the pan. You’ll have to cook these noods in small, quick batches so they don’t steam and got too soggy. Throw in the salt and lemon zest as the noodles fry. It takes about 5 minutes per batch.
Once they’re not firm but not soggy, they’re ready. Coat with your favorite tomato sauce and perhaps a few meatballs. The kids will love it and you’ll be glad you found a new, fresh way to eat this tender summer squash. There’s a lot of zucchini out there right now so get cookin’