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hello everyone!  i'm so excited to share today's guest post from laura of the first mess!  she makes the most amazing, garden-centric foods that i know you're going to love as much as i do!  and this dish is no exception.  can't wait to whip it up when i get home- it's the perfect summer lunch.  and a meal doesn't get much prettier than that, in my opinion!  thank you so much laura!  xx- sarah (more after the jump)

From Laura, The First Mess

I don't own too many fancy/possibly gimmicky kitchen gadgets. I always advocate for sharp knives,  a cutting board that you love, and a firm grasp of salt's crucial role in the kitchen. This changed a bit at the start of the summer. I read about the virtues of the julienne peeler, a standard Y peeler with notches to create long strips of whatever you're peeling. Well... I picked one up for five bucks and here we are. Totally obsessed. You can make delicious noodles out of all the vegetables with this thing, guys.

The timing on my purchase couldn't have been better either. The insane humidity of Ontario summers has me gravitating towards raw foods because of their cooling and light kind of vibe. I'd rather feast on fruit and vegetables all day than feel sleepy after eating something with more heft. Smoothies and salads are the norm, but using the julienne peeler is pretty much guaranteed to help me bust out of the routine.

So basically this is how my lunches have been going: find a vegetable, make it into noodles, marvel at how clever I feel for doing so (time after time), add tasty things, toss it all up, and then gorge on that giant bowl of veggies. We have tomatoes, zucchini and basil everywhere right now, so this is a lovely way to use them up. The rest of the goods are all pantry items for me: balsamic vinegar, garlic, cold-pressed olive oil, pine nuts and flaky sea salt. Really familiar flavors and presentation; just less of a weighed-down feel afterwards. Love that.

zucchini noodles with basil balsamic marinated tomatoes
notes: If you don't want to spring for a julienne peeler, long strands from a regular peeler would be equally tasty. Also, I stop peeling the zucchini when I reach the inner seed-y part of the vegetable.

1 heaped cup of small tomatoes, halved
splash of balsamic vinegar, about 1 tbsp
splash of extra virgin olive oil, about 1 1/2 tbsp
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1 sprig of basil, leaves finely sliced
salt + pepper
1 medium zucchini
handful of pine nuts

In a small bowl, combine the halved tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Toss lightly to combine and set aside for 10 minutes or so.

Using a julienne peeler or mandoline, slice the zucchini into long strands. Place them in your serving bowl and toss them with a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spoon the marinated tomatoes on top of the zucchini strands. Garnish the top of the dish with some extra basil and the pine nuts.

* all images, text and recipe from Laura, The First Mess

Reader Comments (15)

ohh! this looks adorably yummy! And I mean it! I'm such a fan of summer salads... so refreshing, so good! X

I bought a julienne peeler last weekend and have been using it for the past 8 days straight! It's so clever, or at least I think I am. I have been making "noodle" salads using carrots, cucumbers and squash. But I also love to mix the noodles with some chickpeas or quinoa, add some avocado and wrap a large lettuce green around for a wrap. Collard greens work great here too. Make a spicy peanut dip and you have a easy, no cook, yummy summer meal!

07/30/13 | 6:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterAshley Marti

This looks absolutely amazing! I have a julienne peeler but I haven't used it to it's full capacity just yet. This is definitely going on the menu for the weekend -- a perfect way to detox after a long weekend.

07/30/13 | 6:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I have yet to try the vegetable noodles, but this dish is just begging me to! It looks so fresh and perfect for summer!

07/30/13 | 7:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa//Runway Chef

I can't wait to try this, it looks amazing. Thank you!

07/30/13 | 7:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterCarrie S.

First of all: I just bought a julienne peeler within 2 minutes of reading this post. I shall make this recipe the minute the peeler arrives :)

Second of all: How have I only come across your blog now? It's beautiful! I also just read a bit about your story and your way of dealing with your disease, what an incredible and brave woman you are! I'm so happy for you that changing your diet made such a difference, and it's great that you can spread the word about it on here (I know I'm completely going off topic from this blogpost, but oh well).

07/30/13 | 7:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohanna

Okayyy so I've been contemplating a purchase of this peeler for some time now, I need to just get to getting it! Love this Laura!

07/30/13 | 7:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAbby @ The Frosted Vegan

What a gorgeous, fresh and summery recipe! Love love love Laura's blog :-)

07/30/13 | 11:2 AM | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf

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