I have always wondered how to make a ‘noodle’ several feet long, like the one in Lady and the Tramp. Well now I know the secret. My mother in law gifted us a vegetable spiraling machine for our anniversary (Well there is no special gift or gem for 28 years of marriage, go figure! So why not a vegetable spiraler…) I couldn’t wait to try it out – and the result is awesome. I experimented first with zucchini and got spirals over 6 feet long. How cool is that? Then I spiraled some apples and fell the rest of the way in love. It is easier than a mandolin, no peeling or coring and my fingertips and knuckles remained intact. I decided to cut the zucchini spirals into shorter pieces to make it easier to serve, but it could be fun to make each 6-8 foot strand into it’s own serving. Your surprised diners could have their own Lady and the Tramp moments…
Photo Credit: http://www.kitchenmemories.com
For this salad, I decided to add some spiraled apples to the zucchini to add a bit of sweetness and color. I chose Fuji since they don’t turn brown as quickly as other varieties and I love their red skins. I also really like the combination of fresh basil and mint in summer salads, especially with a honey, citrus vinaigrette. To make this filling enough for a main course, I added avocado and pepitos which provide nutrients and good fats that help us feel satiated. I also sliced up some sugar snap peas to add crunch. This salad would be good topped with blue cheese, goat cheese or feta, if desired, for an additional protein boost.
Zucchini & Apple Spiral Salad with Basil and Mint
3 medium zucchini
1 Fuji apple (or other firm apple)
1/4 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) or pine nuts, pistachios or hazelnuts
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
1 firm avocado
10 basil leaves
10 mint leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup avocado oil (or other light oil)
1 scant teaspoon honey (or more if you like it sweet)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the ends off the zucchini and spiral or shred into thin strips using a mandolin or grater. The spiraler is definitely the easiest! Cut spirals into desired lengths if needed (about the length of a strand of spaghetti). Put the spirals in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 10 or 20 minutes. Taste. If too salty, rinse, drain and pat dry. No need to rinse if the taste is fine, just don’t add more salt later without tasting first.
- Dry toast pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) on medium heat in a small skillet for a few minutes, until golden. Add to zucchini when cool.
- Cut basil and mint into ribbons. An easy trick is to stack the leaves and slice thinly cross wise. Add to zucchini. (Leave a few for garnish)
Remove strings from sugar snap peas and cut lengthwise into julienne strips and add to the zucchini.
- Whisk oil, lemon juice, honey and apple cider vinegar together and set aside.
- Spiral apple (core first if using a mandolin) and add to the zucchini. Gently toss with a bit of dressing to keep from turning brown.
- Core and chop avocado and add to the zucchini mixture. Add a bit more dressing and gently combine.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired.