August 30, 2008

Zucchini Ribbons

This time of year, not only are farmer's markets full of incredible produce but often our neighbors have some wonderful vegetables to share with us. If you are one of those people who plant a garden each year and are lucky enough to have a green thumb, I envy you! I tried to make a garden at the last house we had, and while I did manage to get some nice cherry tomatoes out of it not much else was worth picking. After a couple of summers where I didn't have much success, or time to put into it, I decided to give the local farmer's my business instead. At least I am buying local when I can, right?

While at the farmer's market recently, I spied some really nice and not too large zucchini that I just had to take home. I didn't know yet what I would do with it since there are so many different ways to prepare and serve zucchini. It's a vegetable that has a lot of different options when it comes to enjoying it this time of year. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Often, I have drizzled a bit of olive oil over it and sprinkled various seasonings and simply grilled it. Other times, I cut it into bite-size pieces and add it to a salad or even saute it so that it can be added to a pasta dish.

This time, I wanted to do something a bit different and inspired by another recipe I had come across in my many searches for new ideas. I got my handy-dandy mandoline out and set it to make the thinnest slices possible without making them transparent, but rather very thin ribbons. While I was doing that I had some whole wheat spaghetti cooking on the stove. Once the pasta was done, I drained it and let it hang out in the collander while I cooked up the zucchini.

zucchini ribbons

Using the same pan that the pasta was cooked in, I added about 2 tablespoons of EVOO and then added the zucchini ribbons and some chopped garlic. I allowed it to cook for about 3 minutes, then added about 1/4 cup of chicken stock and let that cook until nearly absorbed. Next, I needed to add a little something so I added a few sprinkles of basil and parsley flakes. Tossed all that together, then add the spaghetti back in and make sure it's all combined. Finally, I shredded some fresh Parmesan and mixed it all together. Overall, a simple dish to add to your weeknight meal. I didn't have all the ingredients to follow the recipe I wanted to make so I improvised based on what I had on hand.

I'm sure that some fresh basil would have been really nice, but since I have critters in my neighborhood I can't grow anything edible or there won't be any left for me to use in cooking! Maybe next year I'll give herbs a try in hanging baskets, perhaps the critters won't be able to reach them and I will somehow develop a slightly less brown thumb.

If you love zucchini, perhaps you want to check out these recipes:

Garden Vegetable Lasagna from Picky Palate
Zucchini Cakes from The Pioneer Woman
Drop Dead Delicious Zucchini from Eating Out Loud


That Girl said...

I have a similar black thumb

Jaime said...

those are beautiful! i grow basil on my balcony in pots :)

Kristen said...

What a gorgeous sounding dish. I think Zucchini Ribbons make zucchini look so pretty.

RecipeGirl said...

Oh dear, I do need one of those handy dandy mandolines!! I have it on my list of things to buy very soon :)

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