vegetable "noodles"

Thanks to our wonderful farm box I recently had lots of zucchini and cucumbers on hand. I wanted something crisp and fresh for dinner, but I also had a craving for pasta.

Since it was about 100 degrees in our house even with the A/C on (it's a small window unit) and I didn't want to cook so much as a pot of boiled water I decided to cut the veggies into thin noodle-like strips.

The soy garlic ginger batch was done by hand, not something fun or recommended to do in a 100 degree kitchen, ugh. The pesto batch I broke out the mandolin for. I usually kinda hate my mandoline*, but this made it worth it. Although looking at the two pictures I find the less-than-perfect hand cut strips more appealing, but spending an hour cutting two small zucchinis and one cucumber, no thanks.

These are two sauces/ marinades I use all the time, varying the ingredients slightly to suit my mood and what I happen to have on hand. They go great on all kinds of vegetables, starches and tofu; either one would be good on chicken, but beef works better with #1.

Marinade #1
  • minced garlic
  • finely chopped ginger root
  • soy sauce
  • rice wine vinegar
  • sesame oil
  • fish sauce (optional)
  • red pepper flakes

soy marinaded vegetable noodles

Sauce #2
  • chopped basil
  • minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • chopped walnuts
  • salt & pepper
  • chopped tomatoes (optional)

pesto vegetable noodles

If you eat these immediately they are fresh and crunchy, the longer you let them marinate, the more chewy and noodle-like they become. Either can be made up to a day ahead of time and left covered in the fridge, the veggies just absorb more marinade and become more intensely flavored.

*Can anyone suggest a good mandoline? One that can slice hard vegetables, like carrots (mine fails here) and isn't completely terrifying to assemble/disassemble and clean?


Becky said...

Mmm. I've been missing zucchini. I just have to wait for mine to grow up. I also grate them with a regular cheese grater and then they make a good stirfry base or hashbrown substitute. No idea on the utensil you want, I do all that sort of thing by hand.

aeMalkin said...

Oooo, I'm one of those people that actually doesn't mind growing zucchini, because there are so many ways to serve it. Mmmm hashbrown substitute sounds good; I have a zucchini latke with marjoram recipe that is really good, I'll try to find it.

aeMalkin said...

You also must have more patience than I do; I'll do stuff by hand for weekends and special occasions, but go crazy spending that much time prepping the rest of the time :)

Becky said...

Small manageable chunks I think. And one of those flexi-plastic cutting boards to easily dump the sliced bits somewhere so there's always lots of room. For slicing I cut things into quarters or less then slice. Kind of quarter, then turn sideways and slice, then turn on the side again and slice so you get more slices for your knife cut. Just ends up not taking that long. I do a carrot-onion-peanut-lemon...thing when I crave the vitamin A (winter)and can't get the squashes, and that requires a lot of carrot slicing into smallish sticks.