Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zucchini and almond saute recipe

Zucchini and almond saute
 Am I the only one with kitchen utensil fears? I'm not scared to go near my knives (even though they've done some damage to my fingers and I try not to sharpen them too often), but mandolines terrify me. They have a bad reputation, and one of my friends managed to almost completely cut off part of her finger a few years ago on one (the almost-removed finger part was lovingly known as "the flap"). But sometimes mandolines make life a lot easier. Sure, it's possible to julienne things by hand, but who really wants to do that at the end of a busy day? So for this dish I held my breath, maintained complete concentration, and went to town with the scary piece of plastic and blades. All of my fingers are intact, so I consider it a success.

Weekend Herb Blogging
It was a bigger success when I tasted this dish. I usually cook zucchini until it's falling to pieces (it's the southerner in me), but I liked this barely cooked, still crunchy version. It tastes like a completely different vegetable, and I'm always up for something new and different. I liked the almonds in it, as well, even though I almost burned them. But best of all, it takes no time. In fact, I spent far more time giving myself a pep talk to use the mandoline than actually preparing the dish. So if you don't have weird problems like I do, it will come together in less than 10 minutes.  I'm submitting this dish to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is organized by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, and hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina.

Zucchini and almond saute (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
(Printable version)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 small zucchini, julienned
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add almonds and saute, stirring frequently, just until they begin to turn brown.  Add zucchini, crank heat up to medium high, and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, just until zucchini is hot but still crunchy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 3.


Julia said...

I'm absolutely terrified of mandolines too! I have a technique of wrapping a kitchen towel around my hand as protection... and I usually leave a decent stub on the vegetable to create a further buffer. It's a bit wasteful, but I'd rather that than lose a finger.

Graziana said...

I always use my automatic cutter to julienne, cut into slices and so on. I forbid every sharp knife in my kitchen!

Thank you for joining to Weekend Herb Blogging

Elizabeth said...

I'm terrified of our mandolin and use it only rarely. I'm also a little nervous of our knives, which are always kept razor sharp. For zucchini, I'd definitely use the knife rather than the mandolin. In the long run, I think it would be faster (not to mention, there would be no need for a trip to the Emergency ward).

I really like the idea of this zucchini and almond saute - especially that the zucchini is barely cooked. Soft and mushy zucchini horrifies me so I rarely cook it unless it's going into ratatouille.


Leah said...

Ugh, my Oklahoma-native mom (is that the South?) boils zucchini until it's nearly mush. I never knew it could taste good until I was a grownup and cooking for myself.

Even today, I can't convince her not to boil her summer squashes.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I love still-firm zucchini. So fresh and summery! This sounds delicious. I'm glad you managed to complete the dish with all of your fingers still in tact!

Katie said...

Julia - The towel trick sounds like a good idea - maybe it will make me a little less nervous.

Graziana - Thanks for hosting WHB!

ejm, Leah, and Alta - I love zucchini no matter how it's cooked, but I have to admit that I LOVE it when it's extremely mushy and creamy. This barely cooked method sounds like it's more popular to the masses, though :)

Laurel said...

Glad that the memory of The Flap lives on. :D Also excited to try this recipe.

Katie said...

Laurel - I'll never forget about the flap, that's for sure.