National Zucchini Day Recipes: Spiral Zucchini ‘Green Papaya’ Salad & Zucchini Pasta
Whether served raw, roasted, baked, grilled, sautéed, pickled, or fried, zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables and a seasonal summer favorite that’s abundantly available at farm stands and supermarkets.
This summer squash is very low in calories—33 calories for a medium zucchini.
There are many wonderful ways to serve zucchini:
 Food fun with the new Microplane Spiral Cutter (photo © Microplane).
Thanks to Microplane for announcing this gadget in time for National Zucchini Day, August 8th.
Resembling an old-school manual pencil sharpener in both style and function, the Spiral Cutter has two razor-sharp (surgical steel!) slicing barrels to accommodate different vegetables—the small barrel for long, slim vegetables such as carrots, the large barrel for cucumbers, summer squash and other, broader vegetables.
It debuts this month in Black and Green for a suggested retail of $14.95. Learn more at Microplane.com.
Then, you’ll be set to whip up this delicious salad:
We love green papaya salad, som tum. We can easily eat two appetizer portions at our local Thai restaurant.
Our favorite guest blogger, Hannah Kaminsky, agrees. “Served chilled, the tender yet crisp strands of unripe papaya are cooling, yet still popping with bursts of heat from abundant flecks of chili peppers. Brightly acidic, tangy, and slightly salty, with just a touch of sweetness to take the edge off, every component must be in perfect balance to achieve a successful, harmonious dish.
“Of course, the key ingredient, green papaya, isn’t typically available in hometown grocery stores, which is why I took a page from the ever-popular zucchini noodles. They don’t stay crisp as long as papaya, so be sure to leave them undressed until the minute you’re ready to serve.
If you can find green papaya, great. If not, substitute zucchini noodles. Or how about making both?
 Zucchini Thai-style salad: zucchini replaces green papaya in the classic som tum recipe (photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).
“Even without the papaya, this recipe transports me to a delicious new world of flavor with every single bite.
“The dish comes together very quickly, so prep all of your vegetables first, and you’ll zip right through the rest of the preparation.”
Ingredients For 2-4 Servings
1. MAKE the dressing. Whisk together the lime juice, coconut sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and garlic. It will seem like a lot of liquid, but don’t worry: That’s exactly what you want. This isn’t like a traditional salad dressing; it should soak into the noodles a bit, and you will have a bit of a pool at the bottom when it’s in proper proportion.
2. PLACE the green beans, zucchini ribbons, and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing on top and toss to coat. Add the chili, a bit at a time, until it’s spicy enough for your personal taste. Give it one more good toss to mix everything around and evenly distribute the ingredients before transferring everything to a serving dish.
3. TOP with a generous handful of sliced chives and chopped peanuts. Serve immediately.
You will love this dish, part of our repertoire since we began to fashion our own “cuisine minceur*” in high school. It does a great job emulating spaghetti, for very few calories and carbs.
1. COOK zucchini briefly, to al dente. (We steamed them in the microwave for 30 seconds).
2. PLATE with sauce. Garnish with grated cheese and any other ingredients.
*Cuisine minceur is a style of cooking created by French chef Michel Guérard. Guérard recreated lighter versions of traditional nouvelle cuisine dishes. Nouvelle cuisine, “new cuisine,” is an approach to cooking and food presentation in French cuisine. In contrast to cuisine classique, an older form of haute cuisine, nouvelle cuisine is characterized by lighter, more delicate dishes and an increased emphasis on presentation. It was popularized in the 1960s by the food critic Henri Gault, who invented the phrase, and his colleagues André Gayot and Christian Millau, in a new restaurant guide, the Gault-Millau, or Le Nouveau Guide. Here’s more about it.