“The trouble is, you cannot grow just one zucchini. Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables. At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt.” – Dave Barry
Every gardener who is foolish enough to go camping, while leaving their zucchini plants to their own devices, knows the shock experienced upon returning home to find Jabba-the-Hut-sized zucchini congregating in their garden. It is like they suddenly turned green, got angry, and swelled to gigantic proportions. I am convinced that the author of “The Hulk” owned a zucchini plant.
Upon returning from a recent camping excursion, we found two zucchini in our backyard that were waiting for Lewis and Clark to hollow them out and float them down a river. Such massive squash are less than desirable because their seeds are inedible. I was left with a question:
“What do I do with two zucchinis that are so large they have their own gravitational pull?”
The Iron Chef had the answer. I don’t know which Iron Chef on the Food Network it was but one of them had cucumbers (also long and green!). That chef had a clever kitchen device that turned the cucumber into long round noodle like strands. Then the chef used that “noodle” to garnish a dish.
So I thought, “why not try the same with my zucchini?”
I don’t have an interest in buying a fancy cooking tool so I can make a dish once so I made a broad zucchini noodle using a simple peeler. After adding other ingredients from our garden, I had an actual dish. It was delicious!
This is great summer camping food. None of the ingredients will explode, bruise beyond recognition, or otherwise go bad while riding in the cooler while on your camping adventure. Plus, it is mighty good food. Senior Management and I commented several times about how it tasted very similar to real pasta.
Camp Friendly Garden “Pasta”
- 2 large Zucchini (peeled into broad noodles)
- 1.5 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 15 kalamata olives (diced)
- 1/2 sweet white onion (diced)
- 1 carrot (shredded)
- 1/8 C mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 2 Roma Tomatoes (chunked)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
In a frying pan, fry the onions and carrots in the olive oil until the onions start to soften. Then add the red pepper flakes, kalamata olives, and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients until they start to lose a little bit of liquid. Toss in the zucchini “noodles”, mix, and cover the pan. This will steam the zucchini (about 3-5 min). Once the zucchini start to turn bright green, pull everything off of the heat and top with the mozzarella cheese and tomato chunks.
It may seem strange but I think an olive, avocado, and olive oil pesto would really be a great topper for this pasta. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
Happy Camping! Remember, the next time you feel an earthquake, it is just another zucchini being born.