Thursday, September 18, 2008

Strawberries & zucchini

Sounds like that Chocolate & Zucchini blog (I wonder if that was part of my inspiration?) Talk about a crazy combination. I have some weird taste buds.

Now before I go any further, I just want to warn you that not everyone will find this recipe as scrumptious as I did. I guess that's because we are all individuals; it's our personal likes and dislikes that make us who we are (In other words, I'll understand if you comment with "yuck," "huh," etc.).

With that in mind, here's what I had for dinner tonight: a pile of zucchetti (my term for zucchini spiralized into spaghetti. Is "spiralized" a real word or did I just make that up, too?) topped with a strawberry marinara (yes, I did type "strawberry" rather than the traditional "tomato"), thinly sliced zucchini rounds and more strawberry hearts (I adore their shape when cut this way; how romantic).

I don't know why, but I sometimes like to substitute strawberries for tomatoes in this everyday Italian dish. Maybe it's because of my fondness for strawberries and basil (I had originally planned on a strawberry cream sauce, like the strawberry basil cream cheese I used to love, but I never got around to soaking any cashews or mac nuts. Oops; my bad), or perhaps it's due to their similar red hue. Whatever the reasoning, here's how to make it:

Zucchetti with Strawberries
Large zucchini, cut or spiralized into noodles
1/2 a much smaller zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
Couple handfuls of strawberries, thinly sliced to look like "hearts"
About 1 cup strawberries
Drizzle of EVOO
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Touch of agave
Basil to taste (I wish I had some fresh on hand, but dry will do)
Dash of sea salt
Few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Prep zucchini noodles, rounds and strawberry slices, and set to the side.

In a mini food processor or blender (I used a food processor), add the cup of berries, EVOO, balsamic, agave, basil, sea salt, pepper and chia seeds. Process/blend until combined, but still slightly chunky. Let stand for a couple minutes to thicken (the chia seeds add some density to the sauce and help it stick to the "noodles").

Pour the sauce on top of "noodles," and sprinkle with zucchini rounds and strawberry hearts. Toss to coat, twirl the saucy zucchetti around your fork and savor every last bite :-)