Spiralizers. You’ve probably heard of them.
Toaster-sized spiralizer appliances take boring old potatoes, beets and zucchini–you know, the vegetables that come to you in the elegant shapes that Mother Nature intended– and turn them into noodles. (Forgive my snark.)
Nevertheless, I confess that I’m a cooking gadget collector and I do own a Paderno spiralizer. Like a lot of the other kitchen gadgets that have caught my eye (Does anyone else out there have onion goggles? I didn’t think so.), I haven’t used it much.
This summer, I decided that I would give the spiralizer a fair try after my neighbor raved about the healthy spiralized foods that her daughter, Randlyn, was turning out (and enjoying) in her kitchen.
Bon Appetit Magazine, by the way, did an interesting piece on spiralizers. The BA writer focused on the psychology of spiralizing vegetables arguing that changing the shape of the vegetables tricks our minds into eating more of those healthy foods. More zucchini. Fewer carbs.
And, there may be something to that argument. I remember one summer when my family, crammed into an unairconditioned VW bug and traveling 2000 grueling miles to visit relatives in rural Mississippi, stopped at a drive-in restaurant somewhere in the wilds of Eastern Texas where French fried potato spirals were served in parchment-lined red plastic trays. Your order came with a decanter of vinegar to sprinkle over your potatoes. I still remember the novelty of that presentation, and, here I am a gazillion years later comtemplating spiralizing potatoes. (Bon Appetit Magazine on spiralizers ).
So, I’m giving spiralizing the good old college try (CSULB 1968) this summer. Here is a recipe for a pretty (and delicious) Asian zucchini noodle salad. This salad has all sorts of textures going for it and the piquant sesame-oil-flavored dressing is wonderful.
You will find the link to the original recipe from which this recipe was adapted here: Simply Recipes’ Asian Zucchini Salad .
Thanks, Randlyn, for the nudge.
Yields 4 Servings
- Vegetables for the Salad
- 3-4 zucchinis
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 1/2 C. thinly-sliced and roughly-chopped red cabbage
- 1 large carrot (grated)
- 1/2 large red bell pepper (thinly-sliced and cut into 1-inch segments)
- 2 green onions (thinly-sliced on the diagonal)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (chopped)
- Chopped peanuts for garnish
- 1/3 C. seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 1/2 t. dark roasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Spiralize the zucchini. You should have about five cups of zucchini noodles for this recipe. As you spiralize the noodles, you will want to cut them into manageable lengths. Place the spiralized zucchini noodles in a large bowl and set aside.
- Combine cabbage, carrot, bell peppers, onions and cilantro in a bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk rice vinegar, olive oil, dark sesame oil, minced garlic and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Pour this dressing over the cabbage mixture and let the mixture marinate for an hour or so.
- Arrange the marinated cabbage mixture over the top of the zucchini noodles. Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of the dressing over the dish. Garnish with chopped peanuts and additional cilantro.
The original recipe called for sprinkling salt over zucchini noodles to draw out some of the moisture in the zucchini. I liked the crunch of the zucchini noodles fresh out of the spiralizer and skipped that step.