What have you been up to for the past couple of months? I've been putting together an e-book to help you survive the annual zucchini invasion.
23 ZUCCHINI: FAST, FUN, EASY RECIPES FROM THE PERFECT PANTRY® KITCHEN includes, yes, 23 recipes (17 of them brand new, the rest updated favorites) for how to cook zucchini with some of the great pantry ingredients I know you have in your cupboards and spice rack.
Two-thirds of the recipes are new, never published here. (The zucchini ribbon salad below, oh-so-simple and refreshing, is one of them. So, now, I guess there are 16 new recipes.) Most of the dishes are meatless, or easily adapted for vegetarians, and all are marked for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
You'll find full-color photos of every recipe, and links to four short videos I made (with cinematography by my husband Ted) to demonstrate some basic zucchini preparation techniques. In the background, you might hear peacocks, birds, barking dogs, and other evidence of life at the log house. I'd hoped to embed the videos into the book, but, well, that's a long story. Follow the links in the book, and you'll have fun. I promise.
23 Zucchini sells for only $3.99.
To get 23 Zucchini, download the free Kindle app for your favorite electronic device(s).
Then, click this link to order 23 Zucchini. Like magic, the book will download almost instantly on your iPad, Kindle, smart phone, or computer.
Wasn't that easy?
Now, let's make one of the recipes from the book.
Refreshing and surprising. That's how I describe this zucchini ribbon salad. No cooking needed. I made these noodles with one of those spiralizer gizmos, but to be honest, it's just as easy to peel long thin strips with a vegetable peeler or mandoline, and slice the strips into julienne strands. Or not. Any shape will do; it's the Szechuan peppercorn finish that makes this simple salad a wow.
Zucchini ribbon salad
Serves 4; can be multiplied.
2 medium zucchini
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp mirin
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
Use a mandoline, spiral cutter, vegetable peeler or sharp knife to cut the zucchini into spaghetti-like strands, julienne strips, "noodles", or any other thin shape. You can even use a box grater (largest holes). Shape isn't too important, as long as the pieces are thin. Place the zucchini in a bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together, the rice vinegar, lime juice, mirin, agave and sesame oil. Pour this over the zucchini, and toss gently. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 6 hours, tossing occasionally to distribute the dressing.
Just before you're ready to serve, pound the salt and Szechuan peppercorns together with a mortar and pestle until finely crushed. When you serve the zucchini, sprinkle the mixture generously on top. Don't do this until the last minute, or the salt will draw water out of the zucchini.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Cucumber ribbon salad with ranch-style buttermilk herb dressing
Refrigerator zucchini pickles
Moroccan cucumber salad with herbs and olives
Tart zucchini relish
Spicy green beans with ginger and garlic
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Grilled prawns with Sichuan peppercorn salt, from Steamy Kitchen
Dan dan noodles, from Appetite for China
Szechuan shrimp and vegetable stir fry, from Aggie's Kitchen
Mocha Sichuan peppercorn pots de creme, from Sippity Sup
Zucchini "noodles" with sesame-peanut sauce, from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
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