Have you been introduced to zoodles, the semi-recent food craze and healthy-eater favorite? I love these spiralized “noodles” of zucchini. We’ve made several dishes with them, and I think they work great as a noodle or grain substitute if you’re into that kind of thing. What I don’t think however, is that they are “just like pasta.” You’ll see recipes floating around for things like Zoodles Alfredo where the authors claim they “can’t even tell the difference” between regular pasta and zoodles. I call BS. I like zoodles. I think they taste good. I think they work really well as a substitute in many situations where you would otherwise use noodles or rice. But I can definitely tell the difference!
I personally like cooked zoodles way better than just spiralized zucchini raw. I don’t know why it tastes that different to me, but it does. Hence why in this recipe I cook the zoodles, even though I’m making a cold salad. Don’t judge. (And don’t do it if you don’t want! I’m sure normal people would like the whole thing raw.)
Mediterranean Cucumber-Zoodle Salad
- 2 zucchini squash
- 1/2 of a large cucumber
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Handful of baby carrots, chopped
- 10 kalamata olives, pitted & quartered
- 4oz Feta cheese
- 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- Salt & pepper
- Use a spiralizer to spiralize the zucchini and cucumber. Alternatively, use a mandolin or julienne peeler. You want to end up with thin strips. Place the zoodles in a strainer (set aside the cucumbers). Toss with salt. Allow to sit out over the sink for 15+ minutes. This draws the liquid out of the vegetables and keeps them from getting mushy.
- Now squeeze the zoodles between your fists. You’ll be amazed how much liquid you can squeeze out! (You won’t hurt the zoodles, they’re pretty durable.)
- Put olive oil in saute pan over low-medium heat. Once warm, add zoodles to the pan and saute for ~10 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside, and allow to cool. [Skip this step if you’re not weird like me and are fine with raw zucchini.]
- Combine zoodles, cucumber, olives, and feta (crumbled or cut into chunks).
- Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Then toss the vegetables with the dressing and serve.