It’s the time of year when Sannie Boervrou‘s generosity knows no bounds. Call them what you will, courgettes, zucchini and (not-so-baby) baby marrows, I’ve been making pickles, salad and this year, zoodles.
I had long been wanting a spiraliser, and having done a bit of homework, came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t find one that didn’t have some or other drawback. So, given my tiny kitchen and dearth of storage space for large kitchen gadgets, the key criterion was size. The price was a bonus because I found it on a sale.
Home I came, with what looks like a giant, double-sided pencil sharpener. One side makes spiral shavings and the other, which I discovered the hard way, has vicious teeth, makes spaghetti-like bits of vegetables.
I did post a salad with strips of courgette, last year, but since then, I’ve not just experimented with the spiraliser, but also with the flavours. Particularly, the vinaigrette. Because the zoodles have a delicate (some would say bland) flavour. Consequently, for my salads, rather than using a balsamic vinegar which could be too overpowering, I use a local red wine vinegar made in a balsamic style, and which I often use – good flavour without the heaviness of the traditional balsamic. In addition to lettuce and forgoing the cucumber (for obvious reasons), my standard inclusion is slivers of red onion.
So, a relatively plain salad, that is a great accompaniment to virtually any meal is really easy. Depending on the meal, add different fresh herbs for a complimentary or contrasting flavour profile. Here I used coriander and basil and garnished with a bit of red endive.
Equally, one can add, particularly for colour, and I often do, tomatoes and olives.
What I also enjoyed, and which worked much better than the slivers of courgette, was adding zoodles to pasta with pesto. I have mentioned (probably ad nauseum), that I make my own pasta. Anyhow, sometimes, at the end of a hard day, I really just want to do a meal with the least possible fuss. Served, if possible out of just one dish. Zoodles and pasta allow one to do just that.
This, simple warm pasta salad consisted of roasted cherry tomatoes, lightly sauteed mushrooms and sweet bell peppers that were served on top of pasta and zoodles through which I had stirred basil pesto.
For those who want to avoid the carbs, zoodles make a super substitute for rice, potatoes and, of course pasta. I’ve also been experimenting with rosti, but have a way to go to perfecting them….
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