Zucchini Ribbons with Raw Tomato Marinara

Savory Recipes, Summer • 14 Jul 2011

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I’ve been relishing the remarkable texture and flavor of raw zucchini since I began working the farmers’ market circuit a handful of years ago. I was extremely lucky to live just several blocks from the famous Santa Monica farmer’s market, a veritable playground for organic fruit and vegetable enthusiasts. Every week, I would pick up bags busting with verdant greens, ruby red strawberries, crisp and juicy citrus, aromatic herbs and pregnantly plump squash. Zucchini became one of my favorite purchases since it is an extremely versatile squash, frequently available and often cheaper than some of its more exotic counterparts.

Furthermore, zucchini needs no cooking. The velvety meaty texture yields a hearty, satisfying snap. Summer zucchini need a little facelift, but not much. Serving them raw highlights their attributes- a delicately sweet flavor, their natural crunch, their unspoiled emerald color.

The following recipe is one of two I will be featuring this summer highlighting raw zucchini.

I discovered zucchini “noodles” a few years ago when I tried an exclusively raw diet for a few days to cure my general malaise and regain my energy. For zucchini pasta, the vegetable is cut thin and long to emulate spaghetti, and served with a tangy, garlicky raw tomato sauce. The mild, earthy zucchini make a nice vehicle for the ruby-hued marinara. While healthy and cleansing, it packs a hearty, filling punch.

Zucchini Ribbons with Raw Tomato Marinara
Adapted from Ani Phyo

1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, diced
2 dry-packed or oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 soft Medjool date, pitted and minced
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 medium zucchini (1 3/4 pounds)

1. In a blender, combine the fresh tomatoes with the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, date, garlic, thyme and parsley and puree until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

2. Using a mandoline, cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices, then cut the slices lengthwise into 1/8-inch strips resembling spaghetti. Transfer the zucchini noodles to a bowl.

3. Add the marinara sauce, toss to coat and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

One Response

  1. Jessica

    I am so excited about this recipe. I am going to try it out next week. Thanks for posting!!!

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