Friday, August 31, 2012

FFWD ~ Zucchini Tagliatelle with Mint, Cucumber and Lemon

Zucchini Tagliatelle with Mint, Cucumber and Lemon
Summer is the time of year when all those fresh vegetables and fruits are so plentiful! I grow many of my own. In fact, as I write this, there is a tray of  Dorie’s Slow Roasted Tomatoes in my oven. Our group made them last year.  They are one of my favorite recipes…great with pasta! I make them all summer long to use up those cherry tomatoes that are so prolific this summer!  

Today our recipe is for Zucchini Tagliatelle with mint, cucumber, and lemon.  Zucchini is one vegetable that I have had no luck with this year. I planted five plants and harvested only four zucchini, before all my plants shriveled and died off.  I had some kind of worm eating my plants at the base, and until this year, I did not know what it was.  I’m sure all you gardeners out there are saying…"I know what it is”.  Well, if you guessed cutworm you’re right!  Next year I plan on using cardboard sleeves around the base of the zucchini. It should prevent the cutworm from gnawing at the base of the plant. I’m also open to any other suggestions to keep these varmints from ruining my plants. So, for this recipe I had to go to the farm stand and buy some zucchini.  They were beautifully fresh and just picked. Nice to have such fresh local produce! 
Zucchini and cucumber
The hardest part of this recipe was cutting up the zucchini! I had a Mandoline, but the strips were still not thin enough.  This basically is a cucumber, zucchini salad with chopped mint, and a lemon-oil dressing. It called for pistachio oil...I used walnut oil. Sorry, but I wasn’t going to buy a bottle of pistachio oil (if I could find it, which I couldn’t)  for a salad that I wasn’t sure I would like.

This salad was just ok. The flavor reminded me of a tabouleh salad without all the delicious tomatoes and bulgur wheat! I found it to be flat and lacking flavor. Since I was the only one eating this salad in my house, I ate it three days in a row, it never got better.  I'm sure it won't be finding its way back to my table anytime soon!  Sorry to say this was not a winner for me! Happy Friday everyone!!

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans’ cookbook "Around My French Table" or you can find it here at  Epicurious.  To see what other Doristas' are doing this week, you can check it our here.

I had high hopes for this salad!
The colors look so pretty, but the flavor was flat!
I wish I could say I liked this but….

Oh, and on another note…If you have arachnophobia you should leave this page now!  I’ve had a visitor lately…he just won’t go away even though I keep sweeping his web off my deck!  I watched him weave this web in about an hour…incredible! 

My resident spider…he can’t take a hint!
I keep sweeping his web away and the next day it’s back again!


  1. Looks great, sorry to hear it disappointed. I loved it. I think I might be one of the few that I have read so far who actually has pistachio oil (my love of French and Italian cooking creates and addict of me for all sorts of things like this). I wonder if that makes a difference between ho hum and wow? For me this salad was wow and I will be making it again. Hey, hey, hey, 3 in a row for me, I'm up to over 30 recipes now, who knew...I might be back! lol Have a great weekend, Kathy!

  2. SOrry this wasn't a hit for you - it looks pretty :-)
    No, I don't think I would like your friend. I live in a 100+ year old house and am constantly fighting the spiders that love my half dirt basement... Ugh.
    Have a great weekend!

  3. We didn't care for this one either - the flavor combinations just didn't do it for me. Oh well, I guess we can't like them all!

  4. I didn´t care much for this salad either. How great that you grow so many vegetables, it´s a pleasure to eat our own produce! Though spiders are not something I particularly like, those spiderwebs are amazing to look at. Have a great weekend Kathy!

  5. Kathy, your salad does look lovely. Sorry, it wasn't a big hit. Great photo of your resident spider:)

  6. Really looks great! so I guess we should thank you for the honesty!

  7. I will leave my shortest comment in the history of my FFWD tenure, Kathy.


    PS - Love the power of the spider.

  8. Love your spider, aren't they amazing workers!
    Sorry you didn't love the salad and sorry about your zucchini plants, that's too bad;-(

  9. How funny! I just roasted some tomatoes, too. We had a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. I tossed some of the sauce with orzo, peas, and Parmesan cheese. This salad wasn't our favorite, either.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Kathy, your salad looks lovely despite the fact that you did not enjoy it all that much - we loved it, kids and all. A vegetable peeler was the way to go for this recipe, it made an easy job of slicing the Zucchini Taglaitelle as thin as possible.

    P.S.: One of kids who is looking over my shoulder right now wants to let you know that they "love your spider pictures"... It is too cute...

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Kathy, just wanted to let you know that the Zucchini Post is back - sorry for the glitch there!

  11. My zucchini hasn't done well at all this year. Luckily, I can get some from other family members' gardens. I'm sorry this wasn't a hit for you. Love your spider photos - there's a tenacious one at my parents' place, too. I guess some spots are the spider equivalent of hot restaurants.

  12. Your honesty is refreshing my friend but I would love to try this beautiful looking salad :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Are'nt spiders amazing? Yeah, I bought the zucchini but could not get enthused for the recipe. Yours does look very pretty, though.
    Bravo for giving it a try!

  14. Hubby and I were not impressed with this one either. But those roasted tomatoes are fantastic. I have been using
    crumbled pieces of goat cheese with it as a salad (a la David L.) and it is delicious. Your pictures are great,
    especially that creepy spider. Have a great weekend.

  15. Funny, I was just on spider-patrol a little bit ago. I have to say, here we have too many to find them adorable, but those are some great pictures.

    I'm with you on the salad - not my favorite, but it was ok. I substituted tomatoes in for cucumber. I think it would have been better with a little rice vinegar to calm it down... oh well, at least it was easy!

    Hope you have a terrific weekend!

  16. I'm impressed you got the spaghetti strands. I stuck with the flat noodle strips.

  17. Hi Kathy! You know, I didn't love this one either. I had to laugh when you said you'd been eating it for 3 days and it wasn't getting any better. Your julienned strips look very pretty, more pasta like than what I got. However, this was not a favorite.
    Thanks for sharing your photo of Charlotte's cousin. I am always amazed at the artistry of spider webs. While waiting in (long) line at a restaurant, I once watched a spider completely tear down her web and ten rebuild it. Amazing stuff, nature is.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  18. Kathy, I just had to smile when I saw the clicks of spider as I took a few of them last week....
    I have no problem with a simple zucchini salad, maybe with other herbs.

  19. At least you tried it! I didn't even attempt which I'm pretty disappointed in myself for but it was just too many things I don't really like to even get excited about it. Your pictures are lovely, especially the one with the squash blossom and that pretty tablecloth (tea towel??). I'm down with spiders - they kill the other bugs I really hate (mosquitos and the like).

  20. Kathy, I can understand why you wouldn't like this salad, even though you have the mint flavor, and the lemon, the crunchy diced cucumbers, but 'taglietelle' is simply ribbons of pasta, or ribbons of vegetables, such as zucchini, or even carrots. Yours was more of 'matchsticks' shape; looks just great, but the only way to enjoy a salad like this is to combine it on top of crunchy green salad...such as Romaine, and add more flavor! I think Dorie didn't have such a winner this time, even if she adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit!

    Love your artistic spider web photo. So amazing, and cool! Great could enter this photo in a 'photo contest' and WIN! (its that good)

  21. I'm so surprised this didn't work for you! it looks beautiful and sounds so fresh - oh well :))
    Mary x

  22. Unlike you I had the best luck this year with my zucchini plants. Before they were daid, they gave us so many and tasty zucchinis. I could not say the same for my tomatoes. No luck there. I am sorry this salad didn't work for you. Looks very refreshing!

  23. Well, your salad looks great anyway! I didn't get around to making this one but after reading your description it makes sense that the flavor might be bland. The lemon didn't help, huh? I prefer my zucchini cooked. Your peach tart look delicious, too, by the way. About the spider...does he have yellow on the body? I call those the 'fall spiders' as it seems that is when they come out to 'play'.