Thursday, August 15, 2013

Zucchini ribbons

Clean eating! Steamed zucchini ribbons drizzled with e.v.olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Served with grass-fed 90% lean beef. August 2013. 
It is August, which means it is zucchini time. Zucchini, or summer squash, have a faint, slightly sweet and mild flavor. They're used in savory dishes, even though they're technically immature fruit. They join the ranks of foods which are are prepared contrary to their classification, like tomatoes, and avocados. I came back from a two week tour of the Northeast, and was ready for some time at home in my pajamas, and some clean eating! There's nothing better than a hot shower, cozy bed full of blankets, and some home cooked food.  
I decided to take an extra five minutes and use my vegetable peeler to make zucchini ribbons. I was a little clumsy at first, yielding broken ribbon strands, but by my second zucchini I got the hang of how my vegetable peeler needed to be angled to get a continuous slice from end to end. The texture was delightful! I heard of people making zucchini noodles and bragging about how they're just as good as regular noodles and I always sort of scoffed... it's just not pasta people! BUT, for not being pasta, it's just delicious- it has a very delicate flavor, enhanced by a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle of salt. I only want to make zucchini this way now, which might make my next few posts pretty boring... 

 I made a bed of zucchini ribbons, and ate it with grass fed 90% lean beef. I don't eat meat very much these days, but when I do I seek out humanely raised, cage free, grass fed, you name it. It costs a little more, but after watching various food documentaries and seeing how most animals are treated, I can't support the animal practices of meat raised any other way.

Steaming the veggies for one minute loosened up their texture, and made them wavy and bendable- wonderful texture! Be careful to not over steam them, the outer edges should still be bright green when you take them out. You can also saute them gently in a pan.Organic zucchini have less pesticides on them, and have been treated with fewer chemicals. Since this recipe utilizes the skin, and that's where most of the pesticides are, opt for organic if you can.

Organic zucchini
wide vegetable peeler

*You can use a mandolin, if you have one, or any other thin-slicer.

Take a medium sized pot, fill with one to two inches of water, and place your steamer basket in it. Cover the pot, and put on medium-high heat. Rinse your zucchini and cut off the ends. You can cut a thin strip lengthwise down one side, and place it cut side down on the board. This will keep it from rolling around as you slice.
Using your vegetable slicer, work your way from end to end, removing each ribbon as you go. Every slicer will be different, so be patient and see what works best for your slicing needs. As the zucchini gets smaller and harder to manage, switch sides, rotating until you're done. i got lazy and threw in the little end bit of zucchini that didn't want to slice.
Place carefully in the pot (watch out for the steam!), and steam for one minute. No longer. Remove immediately and put on a place. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and pepper.

Ugly Zucchini! My first zucchini- totally messy. I got the hang of it by the second one. August 2013. 

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