I’ve written before about how the texture of foods is sometimes as important as the taste and I’m finding more and more that I will eat certain foods more often if I prepare them a certain way versus another. One of these foods is zucchini. For years I’ve been eating it sliced or chopped in ratatouille or stir fries and I’ve been fine with it, but lately this is another vegetable that I’ve been playing with when I eat. For example, if I’m having it in salads, I will shred it and pile it on top or even mix it into grain dishes at the very end to give it a quick steaming.
The recipe below uses a method that many raw food enthusiasts use for making zucchini spaghetti, except it’s not made with a vegetable spiraler that is often used. It’s prepared with a vegetable peeler. It takes only a few short minutes to peel your way through a zucchini this way. I’ve tried two different peelers with different results. One produces very thin strips and the other slices them thicker.
Either way, the warm chickpea salad will lightly steam the zucchini when it’s piled on top, which will soften even the thicker strips. And if you’d rather not sauté the vegetables, simply mix the chickpea salad together raw and combine it with the zucchini that way.
You can also make extra chickpea salad and freshly peel additional linguini at your next meal; it really is a quick process. And maybe it sounds crazy, but for me, it’s more satisfying experiencing the zucchini as pasta rather than vegetable chunks–without all the side effects of starchy pasta!
1 T grapeseed oil
1 medium red onion, diced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
1 large zucchini, washed and partially peeled
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
fresh lemon juice
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh or dried basil and/or oregano
sea salt and ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
2 - 3 large leaves of kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped small (optional)
freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven, then add the onion and celery and sauté until soft, ~5 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips of zucchini. Place the strips in a bowl and gently toss with ~1T lemon and/or balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
When the onions and celery are soft, add the chickpeas basil and/or oregano, lemon juice and/or balsamic vinegar, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Allow the chickpeas to heat through.
Add the garlic and kale to the skillet and mix until the kale wilts (if adding).
Plate some of the zucchini linguini onto plates and top with the chickpeas. Top with cheese if desired or additional fresh parsley.