It is that time of year when the stars align to give us an abundance of vegetable possibilities. It is also the time of year when desperate gardeners start slipping zucchinis into unlocked cars.
If you find yourself at either end of this situation, I've got a great recipe for you. It will take care of as many as six zucchinis, and a few other things that are in season right now.
This summer squash caprese noodle salad is adapted from Diane Sanfilippo's Practical Paleo cookbook. You can use a regular peeler to make it, but I would recommend either springing for a spiralizer (takes up a bit more space in your kitchen, so it's a bit more of a commitment) or a julienne peeler. I recommend either the Swissmar or Kuhn peelers if you purchase online. The only place I could find that sold them locally was the Good Food Store.
In the summer, we eat a lot of zucchini pasta at my house. It is my No. 1 defense against the onslaught of summer squash. It's also a great way to replace a grain with a vegetable. And it's how I trick my unsuspecting child and husband to eat more veggies. They've figured it out by now, but I can still blend pasta and z-pasta together and they are pretty darn happy.
This salad is great on its own, but feel free to add to it if you are trying to purge your fridge. I threw in scallions because I had such fresh, lovely ones on hand. When I made it at the office for lunch, I put some sliced turkey and ham on the side (with a dollop of mayo, too, because I am a mayo freak). Other additions include mozzarella, tomatoes or chunks of bread. I'm guessing a little kohlrabi wouldn't be bad, either. Maybe olives? There are tons of possibilities.
- photo by Genevieve Jessop Marsh
For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil (I've used dried in a pinch, just reduce to 4 teaspoons)
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste (I used white pepper, but black pepper is great too)
For the salad:
Around 5 cups "spiralized" or julienned zucchini or summer squash (I used 3 medium, plus 2 of the pattypan)
1 medium carrot, julienned, peeled or spiralized (when tomatoes come into season, you can use those instead)
1 scallion (optional)
Peel the zucchini; it helps make the noodles better.
Spiralize or julienne your zucchini. I spiralized mine, using the larger noodle setting. Set aside. If you want to get a bit of the water out of the zucchini beforehand, salt the zucchini noodles before you set them aside.
Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Peel the carrots right into the bowl with dressing.
If you opted to salt the zucchini, now's the time to take a clean rag, towel or paper towel and squeeze some of the water out into the sink.
Add the zucchini and toss with your hands. Grind a little fresh pepper on top. I added a few scallions here, too. Tastes great either way.
Eat right away, or stick in the fridge to let the flavors combine.
Genevieve Jessop Marsh is Garden City Harvest's community outreach director and contributes to The Real Dirt, the nonprofit's blog. For more Dirt, visit gardencityharvest.org.