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!
- Penny – Jeroxie (Addictive & Consuming) – Homemade ban mian with minced pork and mushrooms
- Christine – Christine’s Recipes – Spicy Pork Mince and Noodles in Crisp Lettuce Cups
- Mardi – Eat, Live, Travel, Write – Ginger scallion & Butter noodles
- Shirley – Enriching your kid – Vermicilli Biryani with Tahini
- Natasha – 5 Star Foodie – Homemade Soba Noodles
- Anges – Off the spork – Handpulled noodles at home
- Cherry – Sweet Cherry Pie – Coconut noodles with honey glazed pork belly
- Evelyne - Cheap Ethnic Eatz – Incidental Noodles
- Ms Baklover - Footscray Food Blog – Zha Jiang Mian
- Tamar – Koreanfornian Cooking – Tteokbokki
- Billy – Half-Eaten – Pumpkin Miso Noodles in Shitake Dashi Broth
- Nina – Consumed Food Love – Vietnamese Noodle Salad
- Suresh – 3 hungry tummies – Twice cooked pork with rice noodles
- Anh – A food Lover’s Journey – Taco Soba Noodle
- Lori – Wannabe Gourmand – Nonya Curry Laksa