Zucchini noodles with peanut sauce is a cold dish that stretches the definition of what a salad can be.
With all uncooked ingredients (unless, like me, you prefer broccoli lightly steamed), it’s a salad disguised as a luscious noodle-y dish.
No spiralizer? No problem! Look for zucchini and other vegetable “noodles” in well-stocked supermarket produce sections. You can also create long strands with a vegetable peeler, though this can get a little tedious. Other spiralized vegetables can be substituted for the zucchini — yellow squash or other squash varieties, sweet potatoes, and more.
This recipe is super fast and easy using prepared peanut satay sauce, which you’ll find in most any natural foods store and in the Asian foods aisle of well-stocked supermarket. Read the label to make sure it’s vegan.
Recipe adapted from 5-Ingredient Vegan by Nava Atlas. This is a perfect dish to serve with a simple tofu dish like Simple Stir-Fried Tofu with Sweet and Savory Flavors.
- 2 medium or 4 smaller zucchini, or 10 to 12 ounces prepared zucchini noodles
- 2 heaping cups finely chopped broccoli florets, raw or very light steamed
- 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 chopped cilantro leaves, or as needed
- 1 cup bottled peanut satay sauce, or as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste, optional
- Chopped peanuts or peanut halves for garnish
- If spiralizing zucchini, use the fine or medium blade, as you prefer. Cut the strands here and there with kitchen shears, because there are going to be looooooong ones! Place the zucchini noodles in a serving bowl.
- Add the broccoli, scallions, and cilantro then pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the noodle mixture and toss together. Add a bit more sauce if needed to moisten the vegetables, but don’t drench the dish.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for a few minutes before serving. Pass around the remaining sauce for anyone who wants more on their portion, along with the optional sriracha and peanuts.
If this dish stands for some time or is refrigerated, it can get a bit watery. If that happens, pour off the liquidy sauce and replenish with more satay sauce for individual portions.
If you'd prefer a homemade sauce, by all means, try our Coconut Peanut Sauce or Salad Dressing.
Zucchini: a little bit of this and that
- Zucchini belongs to the botanical family of Cucurbita pepo along with pumpkins and cucumbers. Botanically, these are fruits, but are considered and used as vegetables.
- In French, zucchini is known as courgette; the British refer to it as vegetable marrow.
- Zucchini is at its most flavorful at small and medium sizes; once it grows to small baseball bat size, as it sometimes does in late summer, it gets rather seedy and less flavorful. Overgrown zucchini is best grated and used to make zucchini bread.
- Zucchini blossoms are edible, and can be used to garnish salads of all sorts. Do a search for other uses for zucchini blossoms.
- If you grow zucchini and have an overabundance (a common occurrence with gardeners), you can grate it and freeze in airtight containers. It’s not nearly as hardy as winter squashes, and can’t be stored for a long time. Once you get it home, you’ll need to refrigerate it.
- As a garden vegetable, zucchini is easy to grow. And because it’s abundant and available year-round, it’s usually inexpensive to buy.
- While zucchini may not be a powerhouse vegetable compared to, let’s say greens or orange squashes, it’s still a most welcome and very versatile kitchen staple.
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