Zucchini noodles are the darling of the food world. Everyone and their mother owns a spiralizer these days; ribbons of raw vegetables appear on the menus of many a cool café in New York.
I, too, love zucchini noodles. It's a clever way to use up a glut of summer vegetables, and an easy, light warm-weather dinner. Best of all, delicate strands of zucchini stand in so nicely for pasta that you can employ your favorite pasta toppings without much adaption: pesto, no-cook tomato sauce, cacio e pepe, and so on.
I confess I haven't forayed into the world of spiralizing much beyond zucchini. But when I stumbled upon this recipe in the Swanson chicken broth archives, I was excited (listen, it's the little things in life!) to expand my repertoire.
Delicate ribbons of carrot—either spiralized or shaved with a vegetable peeler—are lightly cooked and tossed in a spicy Thai-style peanut sauce loosened and lightened with chicken broth. Soy sauce adds a savory layer, and a squeeze of lime juice brightens up the dish. It has such an incredible balance of flavors and textures, which is something I love about Thai cuisine: acid, sweetness, nuttiness, umami all at once.
And there's plenty in the way of vegetables beyond carrots: shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, and green peppers. I cook them all just enough so that they retain some crunch—the carrots especially, which only need to be cooked a minute or two.
This is the sort of simple, satisfying dinner that you should keep on heavy rotation. It's endlessly adaptable depending on your mood; you can add tofu or chickpeas for protein if you are vegetarian, or grilled chicken, thinly sliced steak, or salmon on top if you'd like meat. (And it would be totally delicious with rice or any other noodles—but then you'd be eating noodles. This is a much lighter dish, more salad than pasta.) However way you spin it, consider this a most excellent method for getting your five servings of vegetables a day.
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1 small head of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 pound carrots (about 8 medium carrots)
- 2 tablespoons sliced scallions (optional)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- 3 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted peanuts (optional)
How else have you explored the world of shaved or spiraled vegetables? What's your stance on them? Tell us in the comments.