Lately I’ve had occasional twinges of gadget-envy when reading about the new vegetable spiralizers, which allow you to make noodle shapes out of various vegetables, including carrots, sweet potato, and zucchini. Still, since I have zero cabinet space left (after my other unitaskers, like the waffle iron, the pizzelle iron, the cake pop maker, and the mini donut maker) I’ve been hesitant to buy one. So when I came across this carrot stripper for only $2.99 at TJ Maxx, I had to get it.
For my first try at spiralizing/stripping, I bought some smallish zucchini, less than 2″ in diameter. It was remarkably easy– much like using an oversized pencil sharpener. A few twists and I had a pile of zucchini noodles!
But what to do with them? I read that you could just eat them raw, tossed with some olive oil and lemon juice for a summer salad, but for some reason that didn’t appeal. I decided to sauté them in butter and garlic– always a way to improve any vegetable– and top them with some panko bread crumbs toasted in more butter.
I did the crumbs first, melting a tablespoon of butter in a skillet, tossing in the crumbs, and cooking until golden brown.
Then I emptied the crumbs into a separate bowl, melted another tablespoon of butter, added a clove of minced garlic, and cooked for about a minute until the garlic was golden. Then I put in the zucchini noodles and tossed them in the pan for a few minutes until warmed through and tender.
If I’d been smart, I’d have stopped right there, but I decided to add a pinch of salt for seasoning. That’s when the zucchini reacted to the salt by giving up all of its water and making things awfully soggy in that pan. Fail! Next time I’ll just add salt once it’s plated, salt the breadcrumbs more, or use parmesan cheese instead.
Anyway, I had to cook the zucchini a little longer to cook off the water, which made them a little more tender than I’d have liked, but once I scattered a generous handful of toasted crumbs over the top of the dish with a few grinds of black pepper, it turned out pretty well!
I am absolutely going to try stripping (yes, yes, double entendre intended) again– I think next time I’ll do sweet potatoes!