My husband, Daniel, and I watched the documentary “Game Changers” about pro-athletes who have gone vegan and the amazing recovery abilities and strength that they achieved through the diet. We are not vegan. Not even close. I absolutely love vegetables but Daniel is the kind of guy that still picks the scallions off the top of his wonton soup. So he asked me to start trying to make more vegetables (aside from the usual burnt broccoli) that maybe he would eat. Maybe.
I decided to start with zucchini because its a vegetable I rarely cook in the winter. I love to grill it all summer long, but I have a distaste for the way the water content leaches out in sauce pans and casseroles. Zucchini noodles just aren’t my thing. So here was my solution:
I bought 5 zucchinis and sliced them about 1/3″ thick. I tossed them in a bowl with about 1 tB. of extra virgin olive oil and 1/3 cup soy sauce. I use the soy sauce because it gives the vegetables that depth of umami flavor to the otherwise bland zucchini (also my husband loves soy sauce). After the zucchini has been tossed in the “marinade,” you want to lay your zucchini slices out on baking sheet WITH A RACK. The rack is key because it allows any of the natural liquids to leave the zucchini without leaving a soggy product.
Like most dishes, the seasonings bring this home. On the right, you have AJO SAL (or garlic salt) straight from the salt flats in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Every traveler that visits the salt flats leaves with some variation of this salt of course, it’s part of the tour maybe, but I’m not sure how many of you have actually USED this salt. We love ours so much that when friends/family have traveled to Peru since I have asked them to bring me back more. I can’t exactly explain WHY we love it so much – but I think it’s actually saltier than regular salt if that makes sense. Sprinkled on pizza it’s an absolute dream! But back to the zucchini…
After you dust the zucchini with a LITTLE coat of the garlic salt (a little bit goes a long way), the final ingredient is a generous sprinkle of Everything Spice Mix. I get mine from Zucker’s because it’s my local bagel shop and I think it’s cool that they sell their own blend, but Whole Foods does a great job as well. I go heavy handed with the Everything Spice because, again, we are trying to add as much flavor here as we can.
The zucchini go in the oven at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. The last 5 minutes I like to turn the broiler on because I like to get a little bit of char on the tops of each zucchini rounds.
I served the zucchini with blackened catfish that had a heavy squeeze of fresh lemon and cajun remoulade. Daniel approved!!!!!! Honestly, the next day I ate the leftover zucchini cold and dipped in tzatziki and they were so flavorful having sat in the spices overnight. It was such a delicious combination because the garlic and dill of the creamy tzatziki married with the dried garlic and onion flakes from the Everything spice. I am totally inspired to make an Everything Tzatziki sauce in the future. I love sauces. Sauces are also everything. Stay tuned.