Monday, July 16, 2012
Spiral Cutter – What’s the Use?
I have a new kitchen toy – a spiral cutter. It can be used to slice vegetables into thin threads. Very pretty. There are other cuts (such as short stick shapes) that can be made using it, but it seems that using a knife would be more efficient. I have used it two ways: for salad garnishes and for zucchini ‘pasta’.
For the salad, I spiral cut summer squash, carrot, and radish and laid them over a bed of fresh spinach accompanied by tomato quarters. I topped this with a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The Vitamix cookbook includes a tomato-based sauce (below) that is perfect on spiral cut zucchini. I have also included my notes based on my experience making the sauce.
ZUCCHINI PASTA WITH POMODORO SAUCE – from the Vitamix Cookbook
6 Zucchini - spiral cut
3 Roma Tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Powder (They must be very dry to powder them.)
1-1/2 TBS finely minced onion
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS fresh minced basil leaves
1-1/2 Tsp minced fresh oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 Tsp salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of Cayenne
1) Transform the zucchini into noodles using a spiral slicer.
2) Place 1-1/2 Roma tomatoes and rest of ingredients into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
3) Select Variable 10.
4) Quickly turn machine on and off, scraping down sides of container between pulses, until paste is formed.
5) Remove lid and add remaining tomatoes.
6) Select variable 5.
7) Quickly turn machine on and off 1-3 times until a chunky texture is achieved.
8) Allow the sauce to sit for 10 minutes to thicken before you serve it.
9) Serve the Zucchini Pasta on individual plates with a generous scoop of Pomodoro Sauce on top.
10) Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator; leftover Pomodoro Sauce will keep up to 3 days.
How I improvised:
- It was too early in the season for there to be Roma tomatoes available. So, I trimmed the seeds and pulp out of the equivalent sized round tomatoes
- I did not feel like making dried tomato powder, so I reconstituted a double measure amount of dried tomatoes. I doubled it thinking that when powdered, there would be more tomato flavor.
- The MI garlic was not available yet, so I used garlic scape.
I tried the recipe three ways.
1st I followed the directions and put the sauce on the spiral cut zucchini. Personally, I did not like eating cold food. Also the raw onion and garlic scape flavor stood out too much for me.
2nd I cooked the sauce in the Vitamix for about 2 extra minutes to warm it and to cut back on the raw onion and garlic flavor. This was better.
3rd I used left over sauce and put it over whole wheat angel hair pasta. The sauce is too mild to stand up even to that light pasta, so it is best on the spiral cut zucchini.