I’m constantly amazed at how good simple, fresh vegetables can be. These zucchini noodles that I threw together on a whim for lunch came out better than I thought, mostly because I’m always skeptical about pasta-substitutes. I don’t have a gluten intolerance, so I wasn’t searching for a non-wheat pasta, but rather, a way to use up the bountiful zucchini and handful of okra that’s popping out of my backyard.
- 1 zucchini (size depends on your portion size)
- 2-3 okras
- 1 clove garlic
- ground sumac
- ground aleppo pepper (or cayenne)
- 1 hard boiled egg
- a few leaves basil (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Using a box grater or the shredder attachment on a mandoline, grate the zucchini into long, thin noodles. I like using the box grater on its side and sliding the zucchini lengthwise down it like a mandoline. Dump the pieces into a kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess liquid. Set that aside.
In a frying pan on medium heat, fry up a smashed clove of garlic in a few teaspoons of olive oil until it’s golden brown. Remove the garlic if you don’t like biting into a giant piece of garlic with your meal. Sprinkle in a shake of aleppo pepper and ground sumac. Slice the okra into coins and toss into the pan with a pinch of salt. After about a minute of stirring, put in the zucchini, another pinch of salt, a healthy shake of black pepper. Stir for another minute to warm the zucchini noodles through, and turn off the heat. This literally takes no time to cook since you don’t want the zucchini to get too mushy.
If you opted for the basil, cut the basil into thin shreds and sprinkle on top. Transfer the whole thing onto a plate and top with slices of boiled egg. If boiled egg is not your thing, this would probably be good with a fried egg. You can even wrap the whole thing in a taco if you want some carbs.