Breaking away from the idea that vegetables can be a substitute for pasta, my “zucchini strands” are delicious in their own right as a stand alone vegetable dish. You can use pre-packaged or home spiralized zucchini strands for this recipe. I used fresh mozzarella in this recipe, but another soft cheese like goat’s cheese would be delicious as well. It’s the olive oil and the garlic that really make this dish spectacular, so I advise using the full quantity of each.
4 cups zucchini strands
10 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup fresh mozzarella or goat’s cheese, cubed
6 small tomatoes, halved (or two cups chopped tomatoes)
a splash of lemon juice
fresh basil, chopped
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and turn the heat to low. Stir garlic continuously so it does not scorch. When it’s softened slightly add the zucchini strands and turn with tongs so most of the strands have touched the oil. Put a lid on the pan and steam for about 2 minutes. Take the lid off the pan, turn the zucchini strands again with the tongs, and return the lid to the pan. Repeat two or three times until the strands are softened and fragrant. Add the salt, pepper and oregano, turn the strands over a couple times with the tongs and replace the lid. Steam again for a minute or so then add the cheese cubes and tomatoes, return the lid to the pan and steam again for about two minutes. Transfer contents of the pan to a serving dish, add lemon juice and fresh basil and serve.