Welcome, Summer

Can you believe it? We are already at the half-way mark.

The school year is wrapping up, pools are getting primped and vacations are being planned. These are tell-tale signs that summer is upon us. Lucky for us, that also means that zucchini, heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers are here.

These are some of my favorite summer vegetables and, fortunately, they grow in abundance in South Texas, so get ready to use your culinary creativity in finding new ways to utilize these versatile veggies.

I have turned zucchini into fritters, bread, ratatouille and soup.

But this time I have something completely new in mind. Zoodles.

What are zoodles? Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini. Naturally, this paleo alternative is all the rage and, while I may be slow getting to the party, I have definitely arrived. What took me so long? Zoodles require a special tool, and that was part of the hold-up.

Not wanting another bulky apparatus to take up quality storage space in my kitchen (or my countertop), I opted for the julienne peeler. I ordered it from Amazon and anxiously awaited its arrival, along with that of zucchini at the farmers market so I can put this new tool to work.

Happily, we welcomed summer into our lives (we had quite a winter here this year) with zoodles in a lemon-butter-garlic-white wine sauce topped with a sauteed soft-shell crab.

As you dive into summer 2014, may it be just as delicious.

Buen provecho! 
Zoodles with Lemon-Butter-Garlic-White Wine Sauce
The Cowgirl Gourmet and the Cowboy 

David could eat pasta every day. In fact, he swears he is part Italian. Now that we no longer eat carbs or grains, zoodles are a great alternative. (Unless you want to order Cappello's pasta which is made from almond flour. We definitely like this brand. It is quite good, and also quite pricey.)

Serve zoodles with sauteed shrimp, soft shelled crab or other protein of choice.

Serves 2 

2 large zucchini (1 zucchini per person)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup white wine (and a splash more, if needed)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
Red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Wash the zucchini.

Slice off one side of the zucchini so it sits flat on the cutting board.
Hold the end of the zucchini and use the julienne peeler to make the zoodles. Once you reach the seeds of one side, turn the zucchini and make more zoodles. Do this for all four sides of the zucchini. Discard the section with the seeds.
Place zoodles in a colander in the sink. As you add more zoodles, sprinkle each layer with kosher salt as this will help to extract the moisture. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the zoodles thoroughly and squeeze out any water.
In a saute pan over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil and let it get good and bubbly. Add the garlic and shallot and let it cook for a few minutes. Pour in the wine and lemon juice and let it cook together for a minute. Add a nice pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Add the zoodles and saute in the sauce for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
When serving, sprinkle a little red pepper flakes and parsley and dig in.

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