Monday, July 02, 2007

Zucchini all the time...

I don't have a vegetable garden overproducing zucchini, but I've been on the receiving end in the past. I've never really minded; I like zucchini, and there's a lot you can do with it. Bread, muffins, pancakes, stir-frys, pastas...the list goes on. Lately, though, all we do with it is grill it. Three of us like it best that way and Nick will eat it if pressed.

Still, I'm always interested in a new zucchini recipe. Recently my mother sent me this one from the NYTimes for zucchini carpaccio--thinly-sliced zucchini marinated in olive oil and lemon and layered with pistachios and avocado. It looked delicious. Alas, though, we have no pistachios or avocados in the house. So I did a little research on epicurious and found these variations, one with mint and another with arugula. Alas, I didn't have those in the house, either, and in our current lethargic state grocery shopping is not high on my list of things to do.

So here's what I came up with instead--it's not quite a salad, because I've recently decided that salads make great pasta toppings (ok, maybe not coleslaw), but you could certainly leave out the pasta and make it as a salad as well.

Zucchini Pasta

3 small zucchini, very thinly sliced (I used a vegetable peeler)
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
about 8 basil leaves, more if you have it, thinly sliced
about 1/4 cup shaved parmesan or other hard grating cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup pine nuts
1 lb. pasta (I used gemelli)

Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Spread the very thinly sliced zucchini on a plate (it can overlap) and sprinkle the basil over it. Pour the olive oil/lemon juice mixture over that and sprinkle with s&p to taste. Let sit while the pasta boils.

Once the pasta is done to your liking, toss it in a large bowl with a little olive oil. At this point either toss the zucchini with the pasta or divide the pasta into individual bowls and top with zucchini. Top with shaved parmesan and pine nuts (toasted or not, as you choose--I left them untoasted and they were lovely).

This is generous for four and could really probably serve six if you also had a green salad. It's a nice light dinner for a hot night. Even Nick didn't complain.


Claudia said...

Everyone in my house is a big fan of zucchini bread so that's usually its fate. Sometimes I just roast it in the oven - sliced - with olive oil and whatever herbs (fresh or dried) are at hand. Garlic, salt...cook and eat.

Caroline said...

Mmm, that sounds good. Just turned all our zucchini into muffins, though, but you can make this for us next week! :)

Magpie said...

That sounds divine. I too like that pasta with salad thing.