recipe: spiralized zucchini pasta

If you know me as a cook, then you know that I don't often cook pasta. Leafy greens, always. Spice-centric meat or fish dishes, occasionally. Rice or alternative grains, all the time. But pasta? It's a rare, maybe monthly indulgence. So let me start by saying that I find it very amusing that I'm posting two back-to-back pasta recipes on the blog.

That said, this second recipe isn't actually pasta as you know and love it. I'm jumping on the already well documented spiralizer trend with a recipe that you can eat like pasta, but, you know, sans the grains.

Being that I'm a pretty healthy cook, you're probably thinking, "Oh, she avoids gluten." Well, that was more or less true once upon a time, but these days the only thing I avoid is processed, industrial foods. Find me a crusty loaf fermented with old-school starter and I will always dig in.

Then why the spiralizing? It's simple: I despise using more pots and pans than absolutely necessary. Regular pasta involves boiling water, cooking the pasta, simultaneously making a sauce, etc. Doing it well isn't actually as instantaneous as mainstream food culture makes it out to be.

Which is why spiralized zucchini pasta is genius, because you can literally just throw it right in the pan on top of some oil, slivered garlic and spices. No boiling water, no need for two burners. Not to mention that the "noodle" texture didn't turn to mush the way I expected.

I'll stop rambling now and share the recipe—but seriously, just imagine what else you can do with a spiralizer. And if you proud omnivores need to assure yourself that you're not following the trends set by "those crazy paleo people," well, you can just sop up the remaining juices with some good ol' crusty bread.

Spiralized Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients (serves two as an appetizer, one as a entree)

  • 1-2 tbsp grapeseed oil or butter (I used a mix of both)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • tsp rosemary
  • tsp herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tsp red flake pepper
  • 2 large zucchini (or other oblong summer squash), spiralized 
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan (or grana padano, nutritional yeast, etc.)
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

Heat large sauté pan (I prefer cast iron or other non-stick for this recipe) and add your oil or butter. Slice garlic thinly and add to pan along with spices. As garlic just starts to brown, add spiralized zucchini noodles. Add a pinch of salt and occasionally toss noodles in pan, using a pair of cooking tongs. Once they're heated through, add your yogurt and parmesan and toss to create a sauce. Once noodles and sauce are heated through, remove from heat and serve immediately. (The sauce is delicious, so I advise toasting yourself some sopping up bread.)

Delicious Detox—Nourish Kitchen + Table

Photos by Lauren DeFilippo

The most fit and happy cooks will tell you their secret is simply to make healthy meals taste as good—or better—than their favorite indulgences. But for those of us who are intimidated by cooking at home, getting off to the right start can be a struggle. Cue Nourish Kitchen + Table in New York City’s West Village.

Weekender Entree Salad

Weekender Entree Salad

The shop grew out of nutritionist Marissa Lippert’s work with her clients; she saw the need for a healthy takeaway shop that provides the “comfort of a kitchen away from home.” Nourish has expanded that mission to include a few eat-in tables with views into an open kitchen, offering the friendly calm one hopes for (but too seldom finds) in the city’s many coffee shops.

On the subject of caffeine, Nourish offers top-notch Counter Culture coffee and Harney & Sons teas, but serious detoxers will appreciate Lippert’s custom line of juices and smoothies. Among them, a green juice for the vegetable juice-averse, spruced up with a bright splash of grapefruit, pineapple and the mild heat of jalapeno.

Detox Salad and Frittata

Detox Salad and Frittata

But the drinks are only a drop in Nourish’s nutritional bucket. From the savory side of the menu, we sampled a raw kale “detox salad”. With exotic flavors and diverse texture (sesame oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, almonds, pear and watermelon radish), this is far from your average health food. A second “weekender entree” salad—chock-full with crispy duck confit, dried cherries, sunflower seeds, sliced radish, tarragon, parsley, scallion and candied orange peel—offered similar complexity, growing more exciting with each bite.

Black Quinoa Salad, Roasted Chicken and Sunchokes

Black Quinoa Salad, Roasted Chicken and Sunchokes

In short, the deprivation most people associate with “detoxing” is the antithesis of Nourish Kitchen’s mission. The menu tends toward Middle Eastern flavors, similar to the style of celebrated Israel-born chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. Though the dishes change with the quality and seasonality of local produce (as well as Marissa’s creativity), each plate consistently includes bright and bold flavors. For example, the shop always offers a roasted chicken recipe (when we visited, lacquered with date syrup and spices). Its sticky, caramelized glaze paired perfectly with roasted sunchokes and a black quinoa salad with walnuts, sundried tomatoes, parsley and edamame. It was a sweet, earthy feast that both top chefs and personal trainers would enjoy.

The menu doesn’t stop at satisfying dinners. For brunch, a rotating cast of veggies fill a fluffy frittata—the ideal way to refuel after an intense morning workout (or a long night out). And for those with a sweet tooth, you can’t miss “Bebe’s coconut macaroons”, snowballs of shaved coconut with a crispy crust and moist, sticky interior (naked or dipped in dark chocolate).

Bebe’s Macaroons and Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

Bebe’s Macaroons and Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

Among the other sweets we sampled: “Persian” wedding cookies and a sweet potato bundt cake. Light and crumbly, the former are inspired by traditional mexican wedding cookies, with the middle eastern twist of pistachio and rosewater. The bundt was dense, moist, laced with chocolate shavings and topped with a subtle orange glaze. It was the kind of cake that literally melts in your mouth, but had a grounded sweetness that wouldn’t prompt a sugar spike.

If dessert doesn’t get your heart racing, the small, expertly curated shelves of aspirational kitchenware will easily seduce you. Stocked with exceptional everyday objects—from cookbooks, to design-driven dishware and even Lior Lev Sercarz’s celebrated spice blends—it’s the ideal place to pick up a special gift for friends.

nourish_6&7.jpg

In short, there’s a lot going on in Nourish’s small space, and the brand’s ambitions continue to grow. Lippert has already launched a catering division and has future plans for an online boutique. Yet no matter the number of moving parts, her end result is wholly coherent: diverse dishes that play extraordinarily well together and an eccentric, but clean design aesthetic.

Of all the shop’s assets, none surpass the rare experience of raving about plates that are as energizing as they are exceptional—digging in, not with guilt, but with good intentions. In that sense, Nourish Kitchen + Table couldn’t be more aptly named. For your eyes, mouth, mind, body—and soul—it is a deeply satisfying experience. So don’t just come for the takeout. Stay a while, and indulge in the rewards of your resolutions.

Up Your Apple I.Q. with Northern Spy

When it comes to locavore restaurants in New York City, there are few that make a better argument for sustainable, seasonal eating than Northern Spy Food Co. For those of us less knowledgeable about the bounty of our surroundings, apple season is just another few months of the year. But for Northern Spy—incidentally named for a local apple variety—fall is a time for celebrating the delicious biodiversity of our North Eastern apple harvest.

Photo Credit: Suzanne Long

Photo Credit: Suzanne Long

 

How did you come up with the name Northern Spy?

As is often the case with names, we were (legally) denied our first choice, and while scrambling to find a name just a month before opening, we were scouring the Oxford Companion to Food and came upon a list of apple varieties; when the name "Northern Spy" was read aloud we knew. The name naturally connects to regional agriculture. For those who know what it is, its a great recognition and for those who don't know right away what it means, we think it has a good ring to it. — Chris Ronis, Owner

 

Northern Spy apples with sunchokes, kohlrabi, fennel, brussel sprouts, mâche and brown butter vinaigrette

Northern Spy apples with sunchokes, kohlrabi, fennel, brussel sprouts, mâche and brown butter vinaigrette

The flavor of apples, at least in the Northeast, tends to be linked to childhood nostalgia. Do you have any specific memories that influence how you cook with apples?

I grew up in Western New York, so my memories are of apple picking and warm cider in the fall. My mother always baked pies and crisps from September through Thanksgiving, and my family is of German decent so caraway was always a prominent flavor. She would top apple pies with caraway seed or include apples and caraway in the crockpot when making pork shoulder and sauerkraut. — Amy Hess, Pastry Chef

Cider poached apples with spice cake and caraway

Cider poached apples with spice cake and caraway

 

To what extent does your sustainable mission influence the farmers you work with and how do you usually discover new varieties?

Since apple trees take time to cultivate, we haven't really asked about growing extra Northern Spy appless or anything like that. Our new variety research really comes from  having our market forager grab a bunch of different varieties each year from  all different stands; we eat them and see which ones fit best with what new dishes we're working on. — Hadley Schmitt, Chef

Are there any new techniques or flavor pairings in your apple cookery that you are particularly excited about?

An old school technique of my aunt's that I'd love to fool around with is coring the apple, slicing into thick, half-inch rings and hanging them from a string for a few days until they shrivel a bit and turn into a chewy snack. But a flavor I've liked and used the past few years are malted grains, or simply 'malt', and apples.  — Hadley Schmitt, Chef

Union Square Greenmarket. Photo Credit: P Romaine

Union Square Greenmarket. Photo Credit: P Romaine

 

Northern Spy's Favorite Local Varieties

Granny Smith, Rhode Island Greenies

Use: ideal for baking
Why: low sugar content, don't break down as easily as other varieties
Recipe idea: apple fennel sorbet

Gala, Pink Lady
Use: compotes and sauces
Why: perfectly sweet, easy to puree

Northern Spy
Use: nearly everything
Why: good texture, perfect balance of sweet and tart

Winesap
Use: snacking
Why: they're on the sweet side

Crab apples
Use: apple sauce
Why: always nice and tart
Pairs well with: pork dishes

Mutsu/Crispin
Use: cooking
Why: they hold up very well
Recipe idea: braise in cider and pair with buckwheat waffles or pancakes

Golden Russet
Use: baking
Why: old fashioned apple flavor, almost maple undertones
Pairs well with: bacon