You might remember my zucchini story that I mentioned in my "About" page when my sister had way too much of the ubiquitous veggie and didn’t know what to do with it all. Little did I know back then that the fight to get zucchini right would be an ongoing journey. Zucchini is always so tempting at the store. I’m not sure why. Is it that they look so nicely organized lined in a row? Or that they seem so hearty? Or healthy? Whatever their lure, the dilemma comes when it's time to cook with them. They have so much water content that they tend to get soggy, and often times bland.
Several months back while I was in Miami (trying to restart/jump start my next phase in life and get this blog going) I found myself starving at midday. A good a time as any to be hungry. And guess what, just days earlier I was sucked in by the usual zucchini temptation and I bought a few. Which delivers me back to my zucchini dilemma. Since I didn’t have a ton of other ingredients in my Miami kitchen, my goal was the tastiest, easiest and quickest method to get some food in my stomach.
This is what I came up with. A true something from nothing dish. (Note: that the amounts below really only yield one serving. So adjust the quantities for the amount you need.)
Asian Zucchini Ribbons
- 1 medium onion, thin slices
- 1 large zucchini, shredded into ribbons (approx. 2.5 cups)
- lemon zest & juice of half a lemon
- 1.5 tbsp Tamari (gluten free)
- 2 cloves garlic (shredded)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
Shred the zucchini. You can use one of those fancy, schamcy vegetable ribbon maker, or simply pull out your box grater and grate away. That’s what I did. Then, with the same grater, grate up the two garlic cloves and set aside.
Thinly slice the onions, and in a cast iron skillet, sauté the onions in olive oil, salt and pepper. You do not want to caramelize these, just get them soft with some color.
Add the shredded zucchini/garlic and sauté over high heat. You truly only need to cook this for 2-3 minutes. Add the Tamari and stir. Take off the heat, squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle the lemon zest on top.
Done and done. I ate the whole bowl. It was so delicious I decided to make another batch, this time adding the complement of rice, and saving it for the next night's dinner.
I think that this dish truly illustrates how you don’t need a ton of ingredients or skill or technique. A few fresh items can provide so much flavor. I kept this simple because I didn’t have much to work with (hence the something from nothing idea) but it dawned on me that you could add in some other ingredients in keeping with the Asian theme. Like scallions or snow peas. I do like the simplicity of this dish as I first made it, but this is one of those 'recipes' where you can enhance at will. So I beckon your will, if you do try this one out and enhance it, please share your version with me.