Zucchini noodles are such fresh “low carb” noodle options and make delicious salad ingredients for this Zoodles alla Checca.
Zoodles alla Checca
Whoever started to spiralize vegetables, especially zucchini, was brilliant, don’t you think?
Zucchini plants are well known for yielding abundantly and that’s why there are even cookbooks dedicated to using zucchini! “What the heck am I gonna do with all this zucchini?” Enter ZOODLES!
Well, I don’t have any plants growing yet this year, but zucchini noodles, zoodles, are still a fun replacement for flour based pasta any time of the year that zucchini is available.
Ali Maffucci from inspiralized.com is the queen of spiralizing. She spiralizes every veggie possible and makes delicious meals with them – using them raw or blanched in boiling water for a couple minutes to soften them.
Because zoodles are fun and I love olives and tomatoes, I made this simple and delicious salad inspired by a recipe from Mimi Kirk. If you don’t know who she is – Google her!
Mimi is such a good example of what eating healthy foods can do even if you’re older, like me. Even at 77 years old, she says she wakes up every morning and feels like someone in her 20’s. Now that’s incentive to do things right! Unless, of course, you’re in your twenties and don’t realize how things change as you age. Thanks for the inspiration Mimi!
About Zoodles alla Checca
When a recipe is called alla Checca it means that it is made with an uncooked tomato sauce – using only fresh tomatoes – that’s what distinguishes this dish. It’s a great dish to make anytime of year, but especially when fresh tomatoes are at their peak!
This recipe has some of my favorite foods like fresh tomatoes, 2 types of olives, capers and fresh basil.
**A little tip** After you spiralize your zucchini, place it in a bowl and sprinkle it with a couple pinches of salt and mix in. It’s important NOT to put too much salt as this releases the moisture from the zucchini and if you use too much it will cause your zoodles to wilt and shrink more than you may want them to!
**Another tip** You may want to cut your zucchini noodles a little before adding the salt. When using a spiralizer, the zucchini noodles tend to come out as super long strands that might be difficult to eat unless you like slurping up long strands for days – Lol! Hey, you might, right? That’s your prerogative, but just in case you don’t, I thought you would like to know this important detail.
Here is the recipe:
Zoodles Alla Checca
- 4 medium/large zucchini
- 16 - 20 in grape tomatoes cut 3 to 4 rounds each
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup heaping pimento stuffed green olives coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup heaping pitted kalamata olives coursely chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 20 leaves fresh basil rolled tightly and thinly sliced (chiffonade cut)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Spiralize the zucchinis and set aside in a bowl - if you don't have a spiralizer, you can make long flat fettuccini-style noodles with a potato peeler
- Sprinkle a couple pinches of salt over the noodles, toss and let sit for about 20- 30 minutes to release excess water from the zucchini and to soften slightly
- **Important note** Do not over-salt the noodles - leave it at a couple of small pinches or your noodles may release so much water that they're wilted**
- While your zoodles are resting, prepare your other ingredients and mix together the tomatoes, garlic, capers, 2 types of olives, olive oil, and 3/4 of the basil, salt and pepper and set aside so flavors will blend for about 30 minutes.
- After the zoodles have rested for 20 - 30 minutes, using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, VERY GENTLY squeeze out some of the excess water being careful not to squish the noodles
- Place the noodles in another bowl and and gently toss in the tomato mixture and garnish with the remaining basil leaves
- Best served right away
Adapted from: youngonrawfood.com