I love zucchini and prefer to cook it quickly and simply so that its flavor shines through. So this time, instead of chopping it into chunks before being sauteing it as I usually do, I decided to shave it into ribbons. The delicate texture really highlighted that fresh, spring zucchini flavor! Plus, it provided plenty of surface area for the parmesan to adhere.
I seasoned my zucchini with just a little salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a quick sprinkle of parmesan, but you could take this dish in many directions. Try adding a little basil, Italian seasoning mix, or substitute the parmesan for feta or goat cheese.
Total Recipe cost: $2.25
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Cost per serving: $0.56
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 10 min. Total: 20 min.
|1 Tbsp||olive oil||$0.19|
|to taste||salt & pepper||$0.05|
|1/4 tsp||red pepper flakes||$0.02|
|1/4 cup||parmesan cheese||$0.23|
STEP 1: Rinse the zucchini well and cut off the ends. Lay the zucchini down on the cutting board and use a vegetable peeler to shave it into ribbons. Once you've shaved down to the center of the zucchini, roll it 1/4 the way around and start shaving again. Repeat this until you can shave no more.
STEP 2: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the zucchini ribbons. Saute, stirring carefully, until the zucchini has softened and turned bright green (about 7-10 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
STEP 3: Use tongs to remove the zucchini ribbons from the skillet (there will be quite a bit of moisture in the bottom of the skillet) and place into serving bowls. Sprinkle with about 1 Tbsp of parmesan cheese per serving just before eating.
Step By Step Photos
Begin by washing your zucchini. The amount that this recipe yields will depend on the size of your zucchini. Mine were each about 8 inches long and about 1.5 inches thick at their widest part.
Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini into ribbons. This took a bit of experimenting, but I found that if you lay the zucchini down on the cutting board, hold one end with one hand and horizontally shave with the peeler, you can get the best ribbons. Once you shave down to the center of the zucchini, give it a quarter turn and start shaving again. You'll end up with some leftover "cores" but you could always chop those up and saute them separate if you'd like. Don't worry if your ribbons aren't perfect, just try to make them thick by using pressure as you shave.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it's hot, tilt the skillet to spread the oil around.
Add the raw zucchini ribbons. Gently stir them as they cook. I used tongs to carefully pick them up, flip them over, and move them around the skillet as they cooked.
After a couple of minutes the zucchini will begin to soften. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook and gently stir for a few more minutes.
Stop cooking when the zucchini is soft, but still bright green (about 7-10 minutes depending on the size of the skillet, how many ribbons you have, and the heat of your burner). The zucchini will have given off a good bit of water as it sauteed. Use tongs to remove the ribbons from the skillet and place into bowls or plates.
Just before eating, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Season with more salt and pepper as needed. I wouldn't suggest adding the parmesan to the zucchini while it is in the skillet because of the moisture in the bottom of the pan. The parmesan will just wash right off!