I wasn’t a particularly picky eater as a child. I was adventurous (with a significant sweet tooth). Strong cheese? Sign me up. Weird-looking bread things? I’ll try it. On one particularly memorable occasion, my father convinced eight-year old me to slide a raw, slippery clam down my throat. Standing behind a ramshackle clam house, the sound of the ocean in my ears, I closed my eyes and swallowed– and haven’t tried that again.
But I did have a list of things I absolutely would not eat. Number one was, and remains, scallops. I won’t subject you to the nickname my brother and I have coined for this food, but it’s not pretty.
Next on the list was asparagus. But then, a few summers ago, I had a perfectly crunchy grilled piece that totally changed my mind on that vegetable, and it’s now one of my favorites.
There’s a roster of foods that I’ve done a 180 on. Tofu’s become a staple in my diet, but perhaps the most shocking food to enter my rotation is zucchini. That veggie gets a bad rap, no? It’s pretty delicious if done right. I hate overcooked vegetables of any variety, so it’s important for me to get it perfect, but zucchini is pretty delicious.
And so, a few weeks ago, inspired by Smitten Kitchen, I attempted zucchini strand spaghetti. Disclaimer: mine is not as pretty looking as hers. Mine isn’t as neatly shaved, nor did I have time to make the basil-infused olive oil to accompany it. But it did involve me, a hunk of zucchini, and a mandoline slicer, which is probably the most dangerous kitchen gadget for me to use.
You really needed to see my excitement when I cut the zucchini into paper-thin slices without hitting a single finger. It was sort of a miracle, and resulted in me taking no less than eight pictures trying to capture the translucent pieces of veggie.
My camera’s been through the college ringer, though, so this is as close as I got.
This dish was ridiculously easy to make. Combining zucchini, whole wheat spaghetti, parmesean, garlic, basil and pepper, tossing it together with some oil.
It was great when the pasta was hot, and it was great the next day, cold out of the fridge.
I was a little bit obsessed.
There’s something about making– and eating– real food that’s just so satisfying.
And if the only indication that I’ve matured is that I eat zucchini, I’m okay with that.