ffwd: minted zucchini tagliatelle with cucumbers and lemon

I can’t believe it’s already the end of August, Labor Day weekend, and, therefore, mentally, the end of the summer. The older I get, the faster the summers (and years, for that matter) pass by. Looking back, it was a good summer. We enjoyed most weekends at our lake cottage, hosting visitors from near and far. We celebrated a family wedding in Delaware, the first for the next generation. We had an enjoyable evening in Boston with my sister Jennifer and her family as they came to town before embarking on a cruise to Canada. The weather even seemed cooperative. I can’t recall many rainy weekends, anyway.

The final “summer” recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was an interesting one: minted zucchini tagliatelle with cucumbers and lemon, a vegetable salad. The recipe indicated that it wouldn’t keep long, so I adjusted this for one zucchini’s worth instead of the full amount.

I got a chance to pull out my Super Benriner. I’ve had it for years, but seldom think to use it. As an accident-prone cook, any device that has “Watch Your Fingers Please” embossed on the plastic casing gives me pause.

The zucchini is sliced into long planks which are then combined with chopped cucumber, onion (I substituted scallion), and lemon zest, then tossed with a light lemon dressing. The recipe calls for pistachio oil. I didn’t have that, nor did I have time to track it down this week, so I just went with olive oil. The final additions are fresh chopped mint and a healthy dose of pepper.

Mint Straight from the Backyard

I think a picture would have helped this recipe. Tagliatelle is wide like fettuccine, not the width of a small zucchini. There weren’t further instructions to slice the thin slabs into smaller strips, so I just went with it as written.

Here’s my verdict on this one. I loved the flavors and the colors. The lemony dressing with the fresh mint was wonderfully fresh. I’m not used to eating raw zucchini, but that wasn’t an issue. I think what put me off were the huge zucchini strips mixed the chopped garnishing vegetables. I didn’t like having to cut up the zucchini to enjoy this. If I make it again, I’ll definitely just chop up the zucchini (without the seeds) along with the cucumber and onion. To me, it would improve on the eating part of the experience.

Typically, we don’t share the recipes for this cooking group, but I found the recipe here on Epicurious.

Of course, you can also find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. You should also check out the other French Friday’s interpretations of this recipe here.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend, all!

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Posted on 31 August 2012, in French Fridays with Dorie, Summer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I have very healthy respect for sharp kitchen items (especially after a very bad injury from a soup can that involved nerve damage and surgery…) – so I understand!
    Your salad looks lovely & I like the idea of just chopping everything.
    I hope you have a great weekend, Betsy.

  2. Your salad looks beautiful! I didn’t have pistachio oil either so I used walnut oil. Have a nice weekend:)

  3. Loved this one…your salad looks wonderful. Fun to see a photo of your slicer package. I included the link to the article as well as Dorie contributed to Bon Appetit and it went into publication there as well, so I figure it’s out there. It will be a little fun connect for people who might be iffy on buying the book and want to try a recipe or two first. I loved having a chance to use my pistachio oil as I have a small bottle and am sort of addicted to the taste, it really did add to this salad. I will make this one again and again. Loved it. Your description of tagliatelle will be a big help to those making it…it wasn’t want I expected either!

  4. Very nice! We used mint from our garden, too. I love being able to do that – it makes the recipes seem all the more “French”!

  5. Those wide strips of zucchini were interesting to eat, but they do make for a lovely presentation!

  6. This salad did make a pretty presentation…but the taste was just flat and bland! My mint also came from my garden along with my cucumber…no zucchinis this year though!
    I would have liked to see a photo of this salad too…I sliced mine and then cut them in strips because I just couldn’t imagine eating them whole. Have a lovely weekend, Betsy!!

  7. Betsy, you used one of the lovely plates again for your presentation, it does look very pretty with the zucchini strips! We loved this salad and although I do own a Benriner as well, I went with my vegetable peeler and that worked beautifully.

    There are so many lovely recipes coming up this month, I am already looking forward to all the posts!

    Have a wonderful late summer weekend!

  8. I opted for a vegetable peeler. I’m an accident prone cook, too, and mandolines scare me. We enjoyed this salad – anything that showcases summer produce is a winner right now.

  9. I actually got a little confused as well but ended up going the other way and using my mandoline to shred it. I think it looks better in wider strips, though mine was admittedly easier to eat. This is why there needs to be a rule and a picture for every recipe in cookbooks.

  10. I really enjoyed reading your Post this week, Betsy. First, you’re right, everything is a little speedier as we age but I just think it means we aren’t giving in to getting older. We just have to move a little faster as we “mature” – something that didn’t phase us as youngsters. Your Summer sounded lovely. You brought up all the positives and negatives of this salad. It was my first, really didn’t like, enjoy or will make again, recipe from Dorie. Everything was Too Much – too much raw, too much mint, too much moisture at the bottom of the bowl, etc. etc.. It was beautiful in appearance, however. I don’t even know what a Benriner is but will google that later! I enjoy our working together to help Laurie out, Betsy. She seems to appreciate our stepping up to the plate so, hopefully, we are helping not over-stepping. If you don’t get to the LYL past Posts this week-end, I’ll work on it next week. Also we need to move the recipes to September. Let’s talk about voting for October recipes in an e-mail. This administrative work is intensive, right??? Happy Labor Day to you and your family.

  11. I’m with you. I didn’t love the shape of the zucchini slices – I wished I had just julienned them. Oh well. I substituted cherry tomatoes for the cucumber (they were delicious, but it’s hard to ruin a garden tomato).

    Oh, so it’s you and Mary Hirsch that are helping! yayayayay! I really appreciate what you are doing. I know this is a lot of effort, but it’s great having you helping/doing.

  12. Sounds like you’ve a great summer!
    I agree with you about the width of the zucchini, I made mine into spaghetti thin strips and after reading everyone’s feedback I think this really helped. The dressing softened the zucchini and I really enjoyed it.

  13. I did a fair amount of tweaking on this recipe and we did enjoy it several times last Summer but have yet to make it this year- but there’s still time to harvest some mint and basil for the herbs;-) We have a few more warm months before the days really cool off- I just added a row of lettuce seeds to the garden-we’ll see what happens, if we harvest lettuce before a heavy frost. Hope your are enjoying your holiday weekend;-)

  14. Didn’t get around to making this myself, but agree with your opinion of the wide plank cut zucchini. I think making sticks or as you suggested, chopping would work fine and make the eating more enjoyable. Glad you had a great summer, yes, it did go fast!

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