I'm always on the lookout for two things: something new and interesting I can put on our dinner table, and something I can serve that's gluten free. Since Graham transitioned to being GF, I need to watch the labels on packaging like never before. That's a little frustrating because gluten hides in so many foods, but it's also a good reminder for us to eat a little more seasonally. When my friend Amy turned GF, she said the easiest way to do it was to focus on what she CAN eat, rather than what she can't. Keeping this in mind, I realized that one place gluten isn't is in fresh fruits and vegetables.
I started seeing this side on a food blogs in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, I didn't think Graham would eat it. In 2010, I was pregnant and had 13,000 food aversions. Last summer? Yeah, I didn't really have an excuse. I made this a few weeks ago, and I was really glad I did. It's fresh and delicious, but without being overly heavy. It's a great way to use up some of the zucchini that's growing in your gardens. It's also pretty fun to squeeze out the excess water before you're ready to saute the shredded vegetable. Are you angry with someone? Just imagine you're squeezing their brain a you squeeze the water out of your zucchini!
I don't have anger issues, I swear. And even if I did, I'd still want you to make this side dish. It's too delicious not to.
Sauteed Shredded Zucchini
(Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
5 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
2 shallots, minced fine
1 T. EVOO, divided
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Black pepper, to taste
In a food processor fitted with the shredding disk, shred your zucchini. (Trust me on this one. You'll be done in no time.)(I had to slice my zucchini in half length-wise to shred them, otherwise they wouldn't fit in the mouth of the food processor. Keel this in mind.)
Place your newly shredded zucchini in a colander set over the sink. Season with salt and stir. Let the shredded zucchini drain for at least 10 minutes, more if you like, to drain the excess water. Working in batches, wrap your shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Wring out the excess moisture and set shredded zucchini in a bowl. Toss well to break up any clumps.
Add shallots, and 2 tsp. EVOO. Toss well to combine. In a large pan, heat your remaining tsp. EVOO over high heat. Pour mixture into the pan and distribute in an even layer. Let the mix cook for 2-4 mins. without stirring, then stir well and break up clumps and cook a few more minutes until your mix browns on the bottom, 2-4 mins.
Pull off the heat, squeeze in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.
- Zucchini is something like 90% water, so it naturally clings to itself once it's shredded, If you're good about breaking up the clumps, you're all good.
- To make this 100% GF, be sure that your olive oil is pure, 100% EVOO. Not truffle oil, not canola oil, not a mix of the two, not oil infused with herbs. 100% pure EVOO. The kind made from olives. Trust me on this one. Not only will it improve the taste of your side dish, it ensures that your dish is GF.
- You can certainly omit the shallots if you can't find them or don't want to include them, but I like the gentle touch of flavor they impart.