By Angela Denstad Stigeler
Zucchini is to be commended for its unparalleled vegetal proliferation. That is to say, once again, local gardeners are asking themselves, “What am I going to do with all of this?” Enter the zoodle. Born out of necessity and dietary trend, it’s a highly effective way of addressing seasonal abundance and of keeping summer meals light. Of course, lightly sautéed zucchini is really nothing new; it’s all in how you slice it. Special spiralizing gadgets purportedly turn many veggies into noodle substitutes—why let spaghetti squash have all the fun? But if you want to enjoy a remarkably fresh plate of just-warmed summer produce, you can produce a wider style zucchini noodle with the use of a simple vegetable peeler. Paired with a simultaneous sauté of summer tomatoes, the zucchini not only turns itself into a pasta alternative, the dish sauces itself, as well. So don’t hesitate! If you have zucchini, you can have oodles of zoodles—one of the season’s quickest and freshest meals.
Zucchini Noodles with
1 medium or 2 small fresh zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves minced garlic
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 fresh plum tomatoes, diced
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
4 large leaves of fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini into long ribbons, or use a julienne peeler if you prefer spaghetti-like strands. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper, if using, and swirl to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini noodles, gently spreading them out around the pan. Season with salt and toss, cooking for just a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and parmesan and toss together, about one minute more.
Serve right away, piling the noodles up and spooning the tomato over the top. Stack the basil leaves, roll them up together starting on a long edge, and cut into very thin shreds (chiffonade). Garnish with the fresh basil and additional parmesan to taste.