“Noodles” from zucchini and carrots are the star of the vegetable “pasta” for this Meatless Monday recipe. The punch of flavor in this dish comes from the additions of Roasted Red Pepper Relish (a favorite in our house), garlic-infused olive oil, heirloom cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. This healthy meal can be ready for your table in under 15 minutes.
There are so many inexpensive ways to prepare vegetable “noodles” these days. While I bought a large counter-version spiralizer sometime last year, there are handheld versions that cost as little as $15. There are also “julienne” peelers that are similarly priced. The slightly more time-consuming method, of course, would be to simply very thinly julienne your vegetables with a knife, or peel in thin strips with a vegetable peeler.
The resulting thin strips of vegetables can be cooked in a flash, and are perfect for this simple dish. The method I used was a combination of saute and steam; I used a lidded skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil. After sautéing the zucchini, carrots and pine nuts for one minute in the hot oil, covered the pan and let them steam for about 3 minutes.
At that point, I removed the lid and added the halved cherry tomatoes. I just wanted them to warm through, not turn to mush. After one minute, I added salt and ground black pepper, to taste, and removed the vegetables to individual plates. Topped with Roasted Red Pepper Relish (I nearly always keep this on hand in my refrigerator) and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, this colorful, delicious, simple and elegant dish was ready to eat.
The portions I have given you are for individual servings, so be sure to increase depending on the number you are feeding.
Do try it!
- PER SERVING:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (I used garlic-infused)
- 2 medium-sized zucchini washed and sliced (about 3 cups after preparing into raw noodles)
- ½ carrot, washed, peeled and grated (about ⅓ cup)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved (about 5)
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon Roasted Red Pepper Relish (recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese
- In a large skillet (with a lid), over medium heat, add the olive oil and allow to heat.
- Add the zucchini, carrot and pine nuts and saute for about 1 minute.
- Cover and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove the cover and add the tomato halves.
- Add salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
- Allow to simmer for another minute or two, just to heat the tomatoes through.
- Remove to plate and top with Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Parmesan cheese.
- 1 cup roasted red bell pepper
- ½ tightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained of brine
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until no large chunks remain.
- Use immediately, or transfer to an air-tight storage container (can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks).