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Zucchini noodle bowl with tomatoes and basil

Simple. Clean. Summer food.

 

I love simple food. Especially when it’s summer and it’s toasty out.

 

No fuss, no stress. Nothing complicated. Simple ingredients imply minimal work. Naturally time saving because they just, natural. They just are. And when you take ingredients that are already great on their own and combine them together, the result is oh so divine.

 

Like tomatoes and basil. A match made in heaven. A dynamic duo that begins all great marinara and pizza sauces. Or, how I prefer it, completely natural and on its own.

 

Delicious.

 

This bowl combines these two wonderful flavors and turns them into a wonderful, simple, and satisfying summer lunch or dinner.  Throw in lots of garlic, a splash of balsamic, and get crazy with some cheese and you have yourself something magical.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I used goat cheese in this recipe because it’s my personal favorite. However, mozzarella is very traditional and those little mozzarella balls would be great in this too.

 

That’s the great thing about recipes that call for simple ingredients. You have free reign. Choose cheese you like or leave it out altogether. Live your life and appreciate the ingredients as they are.

 

Let’s talk about the noodles. Yes, I “noodled” a vegetable. With this type of spiralizer. Which, to be honest, is a bit of a pain to clean. But you could also use a regular vegetable peeler to make the noodles. Something like this.

 

Veggie noodles are all the rage and make this an even more refreshing summer treat. I also preferred the veggie noodles when I had this because I topped it with a super decadent steak. If you want to make this even more of a time saver, you can even get yourself the package of pre-spiralized zucchini noodles you just saved yourself maybe five minutes of putting this together. Grocery stores sell everything these days.

 

But if you do want to bulk it up with real noodles, Banza is my pasta of choice. Angel hair or spaghetti noodles all the way. You could even do a mix of the two and have the best of both worlds, sneaking in more veggies and whoever you might be cooking for.

 

So, let’s just get right to it, shall we? To round this meal out, feel free to add any protein to this you want. Like I mentioned, when I first made it, I seared up a lovely flank steak that I sliced up and laid right on top. But you could top this with roasted chicken or salmon, even shrimp or ground meat of any kind would taste great with this. The sky is the limit.

 

Making this dish could not be any easier. It is literally thrown together in minutes. The longest part is probably spiralizing the noodles. Or opening the container of pre-spiralized noodles. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

 

Once the noodles are done, it’s time to get them into a skillet with a few other ingredients so they can get all warm and happy together.

 

The noodles will soften a bit along with some garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat. After a minute or two, add in the tomatoes to warm through, splash with some balsamic and let it all cook together for maybe another two or three minutes. Off the heat, add in the basil and some crumbled goat cheese.

 

THAT’S IT.

 

That is literally it.

 

I kid you not. Top it with your protein of choice and dig in.

 

Before I give you the recipe itself, get ready for some very specific and science backed measurements. Handfuls, pinches, sprinkles, a splash, all give you the freedom and permission to taste as you go and make it your own.

 

Enjoy.

Zucchini noodles with tomatoes and basil (makes enough for about 2 servings)

1 medium zucchini

2 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced

½ shallot, minced

1 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

2Tbs balsamic vinegar

Handful of basil, chopped, torn, or chiffonade all pretty

2 oz (or more) goat cheese, crumbled OR those darling mozzarella balls, or parmesan shavings

Lemon (to squeeze over the top at the very end. This is recommended but will not make or break the dish)

 

Directions:

  1. Spiralize zucchini.
  2. Add oil to a pan to heat up
  3. Add in noodles, shallot and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes if using
  4. After about two minutes or once everything looks softened, throw in the halved tomatoes for a minute or two
  5. Splash in the balsamic and let it all marry together
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed
  7. Turn the heat off and stir in the basil and cheese of your choosing.

Pile this bad boy up in a bowl, top it with some fish or meat, garnish with a little more herbs and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Impressive, simple, and oh so delicious.

 

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