Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer "Noodles" of Yellow & Green Zucchini with a Cool Basil Oil Tomato Sauce: International Incident Noodles Party



International Noodles Incident Party

Please don't misunderstand:  I adore noodles. Spaghetti, fettuccine, ramen, udon, soba, cellophane, rice - I don't play favorites, I love them all. Making them is fun; eating (or slurping) them all up is even better.

But I decided to forgo the dough for this latest noodles-themed International Incident Party.  Thanks to the summer heat and humidity (at least in my hemisphere),  the thought of kneading dough and getting covered in flour and then - horrors! - boiling a big pot of water leaves me  exhausted and dripping with sweat.  These days I find myself craving crunchy, cooling, refreshing foods. So I decided to make ribbon-like "noodles" out of the ultimate cooling summer vegetable, zucchini. (To  check out what all the others brought to the noodles party, please visit our lovely hostess, Penny aka Jeroxie!)

This  dish is composed entirely of  ingredients I got at the farmers market. In fact, I made this the same day I visited the market - and it doesn't get much fresher than that!

I started out with some beautiful yellow and green zucchini:
 
Using a ribbon grater, I shredded them into "noodles:"

 Ahh, pretty - and I didn't even break a sweat:
Meanwhile, to make the basil oil, I took a heaping cup of fresh basil:
I blanched it in hot  water for 5 seconds (Just 5 seconds of heat, I survived!) and then immediately shocked it in cold water and patted it dry.  Using my immersion blender, I blended it with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and strained it twice through a cheesecloth:

To bring out the flavor of the "noodles," I sauteed them for just a minute or two with some garlic chives, salt, pepper, and olive oil. 


Of course I had to make use of these incredible Maryland  tomatoes:

And this fresh mozzarella, made by a local dairy:


The plating was pure simplicity.  I topped the "noodles" with the fresh tomatoes and cubed mozzarella, a bit of torn fresh basil, a drizzle of the basil oil, and salt and pepper:


The fun, spaghetti-like way the zucchini twirled around my fork made me feel as if I were eating a "real" noodles dish, and not just some dressed-up salad.This dish is, to me, the essence of the flavors of  summer: fresh, juicy, and fragrant. To Penny and all the International Incident crew, enjoy your noodles, whatever form they may take.

 

Don't forget to check out all the other creative dishes participants brought to the party!





34 comments:

  1. I love these healthy and colorful noodles and the easy, delicious preparation. Way to celebrate the summer!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. They're gorgeous! It is such a perfect light meal for these hot days!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is a clever idea for summer indeed! And it is not heavy but light to shed a couple of extras from winter. GREAT!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fantastic dish. Love the vegetables as noodles and the colorful dish. The basil oil is a nice touch. Gorgeous photos as well.

    Be well...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love simplicity! Your zucchini "noodles" are really refreshing for hot days. Good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So healthy! And simple... but I don't have a ribbon grater... how's that possible?

    ReplyDelete
  7. These are absolutely gorgeous Trix!!! I actually thought of doing something similar but ended up going a more traditional route but I will bookmark this for the warm months to come!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a great inspirational dish. Simple and delicious and we have so much squash here in Tennessee and I'm always looking for ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very nice presentations~ light and perfect for summer :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great interpretation on the theme. I should have thought of that as I was getting a facial over the humid weather and the pot of boiling water lol

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey Trix, these are like summer noodles! I love this idea, and it sounds so good with your basil oil. BTW, your photos are really nice here-I love looking at pretty food (smile)...

    ReplyDelete
  12. these are VERY pretty indeed! love the idea. Im glad you dont live over on this side. You would not have a food blog if you did because its sweltering here all year round. Poor me.

    ReplyDelete
  13. wow Trix! this really looks good and easy...perfect for summer..

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great to know about the ribbon grater! I made something similar, julienning the zucchini and it was quite laborious. This looks like a great low-carb tasty summer salad.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Trix

    This a masterfully done! I love the pairing of two colors of zucchini, the basil oil, the fresh cheese and the awesome tomatoes; love the plating of it, it is so stylish and appealing. Finally I wish I had this here to savour for dinner tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What beautiful noodles, I love your salad, everything together looks so appealing, a perfectly tasty summer meal!

    ReplyDelete
  17. OMG - love the look of your noodles, what a great summer dish... I not sure what I am jealous of more, the yellow zucchini or the luscious tomatoes, both are beautiful - and the basil oil is just a great topper

    ReplyDelete
  18. great summer dish! i don't have a ribbon grater, so i've always used a zester to make veggie noodles.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, these look so amazingly light and yummy! I'm not a huge fan of zucchini, but I might try it with de-seeded cucumber one day.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hy Trix,
    wonderful try and deliciious turn out.
    Enjoyed your yummy presentation.
    Awesome recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Summer on a plate is what you made - looks vibrant and fresh and alive.
    Great interpretation of noodles for the Incident, and particularly apt for your warmer weather.

    ReplyDelete
  22. love your twist on the noodle. Looks so fresh, light and healthy

    ReplyDelete
  23. So Great, healthy, and looking yummy too :)
    thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love the idea very ingenious! Too good and of course healthy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I MUST get my hands on a ribbon grater! This dish looks divine! O love of ye basil!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Looooove it. What a creative, beautiful dish!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love it!! Vege noodles, it's so fun and fresh. I have the same zyliss but mine doesn't cut all the way to end.. I thought it was bad design but yours seems to work just fine! I think I have a faulty. Thanks for sharing your yummy dish :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh yes, kneading dough in the heat is pure hell! I love vegetable-noodles like those ones, besides they have no carbs so even better!!! Beautiful colors! very summery and refreshing dish! love it!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow - I am impressed. Unexpected, fresh and so vibrant. I mean, look at those colours! Beautiful!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love using zucchini noodles in place of any other noodle in the hot summer months. I am slightly lazier and use my spiralizer, but it basically does the same thing. I am so making something like this for dinner, thanks for the inspiration!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. This is an inspired dish for hot summer meals. I am new to your blog and because of your "noodles" started to read your earlier posts. I love your recipes and really enjoyed my visit. I'll be back. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

    ReplyDelete
  32. Such a healthful, lovely and truly summer-y dish!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Looks great and must just taste like summer. I need to sharpen my peeler.
    So much better than all that starchy pasta. I think a few more weeks to great tomatoes up here... then I'm ready, Trix!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Excellent interpretation on the noodle theme - good for lots of health reasons as well as non-sweaty ones!

    ReplyDelete