Side Dish Duty: Zucchini Ribbons

When I was younger and eager to get my hands in the kitchen I was put on side dish duty. I would cut the mozzarella and tomato for a fresh Caprese salad. I would grab handfuls of fresh basil from the pots outside and drizzle olive oil over to finish. I would cut the green beans for a simple side dish sautéed with some fresh garlic. Everything was simple and delicious but as most side dishes become eventually boring. While side dishes are a great way to take in daily vitamins and minerals, when you really want something special you need to mix stuff up a bit.

Ribbons are a fun and beautiful way to eat zucchini, a vegetable that I enjoy all throughout the summer. Zucchini is low in calories and perfect when grilled with lemon and olive oil on the grill. This recipe is just as delicious but infuses some different flavors that I normally do not use with zucchini. The basil and Parmesan cheese are delicate and give off the greatest aroma for the vegetables. I find that this side dish tastes the best with a light dish of shrimp or fish. This recipe could only be improved with variation. The following is what I decided to create, but I would not shy away from using infused oils, lemon juice and other types of herbs.

Zucchini Ribbons 

[Adapted from Zucchini Ribbons with Basil Butter]

  •     3 medium zucchini
  •     1 tablespoon butter
  •     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •     2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  •     2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
  •     Optional: red pepper flakes, lemon juice, additional herbs of choice
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler peel off the dark green skin of the zucchini. Continue peeling long strips from the vegetable, rotating it to get the most of the flesh.
  3. Drop the zucchini ribbons into the boiling water for around one minute. Drain and return to a bowl.
  4. Add in the butter, oil, parmesan, basil and any other additional items of choice.
  5. Once the butter is melted and the zucchini is coated serve it up on the side, or eat it like it is as the main thing. It is time for the side dish to shine anyways.

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