This is a recipe that resolves pangs of hunger in no time flat. Heavily inspired by the infamous spaghetti aglio e olio I replace the pasta with zucchini, the garlic with fresh sage salt and the olive oil with lemon juice. The result is equally as pungent and satisfying as the original and completely refreshing at the same time.
- Two small and narrow zucchini or yellow squash
- of about 250 grams
- The juice of a half an organic lemon
- A good pinch of dried red pepper flakes or a half a fresh pepper finely chopped
- One half a teaspoon of fresh sage salt
Wash the zucchini and trim the tops. Squeeze the juice of a half of a lemon. Slice the zucchini into ribbons with a julienne peeler until you reach the seeds. Toss the ribbons with the lemon juice, sprinkle them with a good pinch sage salt and top them off with some dried red pepper flakes. Serve the zucchini ribbons immediately as the lemon will most definitely soften them very quickly. in fact, the citrus wilts the zucchini without the necessity of using the heat from the stove. This is a perfect example of cooking raw — one of my favorite ways of creating what I call beautiful food.
I like to eat these lemony ribbons instead of pasta. When I serve them as a main meal, I double or tripe the quantities according to the number of friends are at my table. I twist a tablespoon or so of them into leaves of rainbow chard or fresh garden lettuces as an appetizer. But this little side dish goes with ripe avocado, poached eggs, grilled and smoked fish They also make for a wonderful topping for pizza — not to mention a crunchy filling for an omelette.
I made this recipe at the Fremont Township Community Garden tasting on a very sunny and warm Sunday in July with my favorite kitchen partner and wonderful friend Lindsey Shifley. This magical place is choreographed and taken care of by Alicia Dodd and a whole team of volunteers. It is filled with beautiful rows of vegetables, accented with the colors and perfume of fresh herbs and edible flowers. What’s more, the entire harvest is donated to the local food pantry.
To my mind, this is the kind of place that dreams are made of. I hope to be back soon. Meanwhile, I invite those who live close by to volunteer and experience the wonders of giving the fruits of the garden to the local community.