There is nothing that says spring to me more than zucchini. I love zucchini. It doesn’t matter if it is yellow or green, I just love it. It can be eaten raw in a crudités with my Green Goddess Dressing or cooked in various ways.
My husband Dan likes it steamed, but I find that rather bland and mushy. I prefer roasting zucchini to steaming it. However, a fresh idea that makes it super presentable whether you are having a family gathering, friends over for a barbecue or just a simple dinner at home is making zucchini ribbons or what I refer to as “zibbons”.
Sure you can use the spiralizer to make ribbons but if you don’t have one don’t run out and get one. It is definitely not a kitchen must-have. A simple vegetable peeler will do. It is super easy. With a knife, remove the ends from the zucchini. With the vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini by peeling lengthwise – down the whole length of the zucchini. And there you go a ribbon sans spiralizer.
The following recipe is slightly adapted from fellow dietitian and nutritionist Marlene Koch’s book, Eat What You Love. This is always a hit that satisfies all 5 of the senses; it has a terrific texture, smells out of this world, tastes delicious, and looks beautiful. But when it comes to hearing you won’t hear a thing, maybe just a pin drop because people will be devouring this side dish. But later you will hear them singing your praises when they tell you how much they loved it!
- 3 small zucchini (about 1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon light butter
- ½ teaspoon minced jarred garlic (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or more to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dash of red pepper flakes (optional...But I love this addition)
- Remove the ends from the zucchini. If using a spiralizer, insert the "ribbon" blade and follow the manufacturer's directions for your individual apparatus. Otherwise, if using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini by peeling them lengthwise (peeling through the entire zucchini), to form long flat "ribbons". Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the zucchini and cook on medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes, turning gently with tongs until just soft. Do not overcook.
- Turn off the heat and gently stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese. Season with the salt and pepper and serve immediately.