Cut down to size: zucchini 'fettuccine'

The Baltimore Sun

When you get tired of zucchini, a new way to cook it is as "fettuccine." Sliced in very thin ribbons with a mandoline or vegetable peeler, it mimics the long, flat shape of the popular noodles.

Quickly sauteed in a little olive oil with garlic and some lemon zest, the zucchini fettuccine makes a great accompaniment to about anything you can think of.

I've served it with real fettuccine pasta for a great combo, but also as a side dish to grilled shrimp or chicken. In this instance, it becomes the bed for lamb burgers served without buns.

Joe Gray writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Zucchini 'Fettuccine' With Lamb Burgers

Makes 4 servings -- Total time: 35 minutes

4 lamb burger patties

1 teaspoon salt (divided use)

freshly ground pepper

4 zucchini, each about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, unpeeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

herbed mayonnaise or creme fraiche (optional, see note)

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat; season the burgers with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste. Cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, slice the zucchini lengthwise into long, very thin strips using a vegetable peeler or mandoline. (Take care as you get to the last bits of the zucchini; don't try to use the entire vegetable. Save remainder to chop into another dish.)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic; cook, stirring until softened, about 1 minute. Add zucchini strips; season with the remaining salt. Cook, stirring gently, until zucchini begins to color, about 5 minutes. (Do not let it become too soft.) Remove from heat; stir in the lemon zest.

Divide zucchini among 4 dinner plates; top each with a lamb burger. Spoon 1 tablespoon of herbed mayo over each burger, if using.

Note: For herbed mayonnaise or creme fraiche, finely mince 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil, thyme or tarragon (or a mix of any of these); stir into about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise or creme fraiche.

Per serving: 284 calories, 22 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram carbohydrate, 19 grams protein, 645 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber


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