It’s been a funny old season for the vegetable patch this year. Strangely the tomatoes still have not hit their full stride and the annual courgette glut was late and is just coming to an end.
It literally happened over night. One day we had no courgettes and the next, I had 12 ginormous ones in my kitchen begging to be played around with. I enjoy the challenge of having so much of one vegetable, working my way through the pile and producing a pleasing variety of dishes so as not to succumb to courgette fatigue.
But on to something new. I have become aware of the fashion of making noodles out of vegetables to use instead of pasta. In fact, I was served a small portion of courgette and carrot noodles in a local restaurant just last weekend and I thought to myself that if vegetable noodles had arrived in deepest darkest rural France, then I was most certainly behind the times!
But how to create a vegetable noodle? I had a little dig about on the internet and I discovered a couple of cool gadgets which could do the job. First up is a Vegetable Spiralizer.From what I gather, this clever bit of kit will make noodles out of just about anything! This is clearly the easiest and neatest way to do it but as yet, I don’t own one. (Hint to husband: it’s high on my Christmas wish list!)
Secondly, you could use a OXO Good Grips Julienne Peelerwhich is basically a peeler with little teeth which create thin strips when you pull it down your vegetable. Fairly simple and effective looking and a much cheaper option than the Spiralizer. But again, I don’t own one.
So, I had to opt for the third method; using the thinest julienne attachment on my trusty mandolin. It was a tricky operation as I couldn’t quite get the spiked safety holder part to hold the courgette properly so there was a certain amount of wastage and I did manage to mandolin my thumb (not the first time I have suffered at the hands of my mandolin). But after a little struggle, I had a nice big bowl of courgette noodles.
Next I salted them and left them for a while to draw all the moisture out as I didn’t want a watery end dish. I used them to make a delicious Courgette Noodle Carbonara; healthy, carb free and with a fantastic bite to the noodles you just don’t get with pasta. It was a really great way to use up lots of lovely courgettes in a fun and tasty dish that I will certainly make again.
Courgette Noodle Carbonara
2 ginormous courgettes or 6-8 normal ones
1 tbsp table salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 chicken breast, cut into cubes
200g bacon lardons
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 egg yolk
5 tbsp cream
40g grated Parmesan
Use your chosen gadget to make your noodles. If you are using a mandolin, cut the courgettes into manageable lengths and slice them carefully using the thinest julienne attachment for your mandolin.
Once you have a nice big bowl of courgette noodles, place them in a colander over a bowl and stir in the tablespoon of salt. Leave to sit for between 30 minutes and an hour to draw out all the green water.
In a frying pan, heat your olive oil and fry your chicken for 2 minutes, then add the onion for 2 minutes and finally the bacon lardons and garlic and cook until everything is golden.
In a small bowl, mix together your egg yolk, cream, Parmesan and some seasoning.
Add your courgettes to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour over your creamy sauce mixture and cook gently for 2 more minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the courgette noodles. Serve topped with a little extra grated Parmesan.
I am entering this dish into the Four Seasons Food September Challenge with the theme of ‘Sliding Into Autumn’ which I am hosting this month, as this dish fits the bill.
And I am also going to enter it into my old favourite Credit Crunch Munch, hosted this month by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, brainchild of Helen from Fuss Free Flavours & Camilla from Fab Food 4 All. My courgettes came straight from my garden making this very economical.
And I am entering it into Javelin Warrior’s Made With Love Mondays as it was made entirely from scratch.
And finally, I am entering into Recipe Of The Week for the very first time, hosted by Emily from A Mummy Too.