Zucchini is a versatile summer squash that is a welcome feature in nearly everyone’s garden and farmer’s market. It easily takes on the flavors of the spices used in cooking and makes it an ideal garnish for a summer get together on the patio, or elegant dinner. The French term Julienne refers to long, thin strips of vegetables, herbs, or potatoes. Julienned vegetables are more uniform in thickness and cook more evenly. Julienned zucchini or courgette can be used as a side dish, or as a tasty bed for an entrée.
While a good chopping knife will do quite well to julienne a few zucchini, you may wish to add hand held julienner, or classic mandolin to your kitchen must haves. The julienner resembles a vegetable peeler with teeth and is relatively inexpensive. For ideal speed and uniformity, the mandolin is a board a with sharp cutting blade installed in which a holder protects your hand from lacerations. Types of mandolins, varying in price and quality abound in culinary supply stores and online.
Julienne zucchini (courgette):
Select zucchinis that are deep in color, firm to the touch and uniform in width.
Wash the produce gently, but thoroughly. Pat dry with a paper towel.
With a knife, remove both ends.
Cut the zucchinis into 2 to 3 inch pieces.
Remove a thin strip from each side to create a rectangle.
Slice each rectangle into 1/4 to 1/8 inch strips down to the seedy core.
Turn the zucchini over and repeat.
Cut thin strips of product from each side of the core.
Cut each flat strip into thin julienned strips. For speed, stack 2 -3 slabs and slice at once.
The julienned strips can be used in a lovely Mediterranean salad with ripe olives, tomatoes, pepperoncini, chick peas and feta over fresh mixed greens and dressed with a light citrus and lemon pepper vinaigrette, or your favorite topping.
Saute the strips in butter with a little garlic, rosemary, salt and cracked pepper for a lovely side dish for lamb, beef, or fish.
Leave the zucchinis in long strands the length of the fruit for an excellent low carb replacement for pasta. Saute and dress with your favorite sauce and toppings.
The longer strands sautéed in a little butter or olive oil are excellent for use as a bed in which to gently nestle some delicious poached fish, or a grilled shish-ka-bob.
Holding the julienned strips together, cut them into small diced pieces for use in mixed vegetable dishes, such as soups and casseroles.
Julienned foods have exposed all the moist tasty insides and are best used immediately.