Grilled Zucchini Ribbons with Toasted Pine Nuts and Shaved Manchego

G: HOLLA YOUR FOOD GALS ARE BACK! We are back and here forever (or until our next little break, because sometimes you just have to take some time for yourself!). Yes, we are indeed here and ready to tantalize your tastebuds. Hopping back into cooking, recipe development, and food photography has gotten us excited to create and innovative.

For some reason, I’m always a little skeptical of the ideas we come up with, but S reassures me. Honestly, I should be used to it by now. With this one in particular, I thought it was strange to pair Manchego cheese with zucchini, but this has to be my favorite dish thus far.

Flavors aside, I think this recipe has been the most humbling – that sounds super weird to say, stay with me here. As we soaked up the Seattle sunshine this summer and hung out with various friends, people would ask, “when’s the next recipe happening?” and it made me realize how much buzz we had in our immediate circles. Even when we were throwing together the dish, the zucchini came from Soleil’s friend Kate who was uber excited about the recipes we had already created, the platter was given to me from my photography friend Jenna who thought we could put it to good use, and the dish towel prop was a gift from Lauren and Cristin for my birthday. I never realized how many people supported us, and we’re very grateful for them.

S: Move over zoodles, there’s a new zucchini in town. (Don’t get me wrong though, because I do love a good zoodle dish). If you haven’t played with the ever-versatile zucchini, know that there is so much more to zucchini than being cousins to cucumber and being shoved into ratatouille.

Shoutout to my friend Kate and her sister Alle, for bringing over this GIANORMOUS zucchini from their garden, half pressuring half inspiring us to create something delicious with it. I think we can all agree that vegetables straight from the garden by default taste 1000x better than any grocery store produce – hi farmer’s markets and organic moments- and summer is a prime season to take advantage of the bounty of beautiful produce available.

There’s something to be said about simplicity in cooking and eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Like this recipe, I really wanted to highlight the zucchini so we kept it easy and played with the preparation and cooking method of this vegetable, which completely changes the texture and taste. Topped with some fresh basil from our OWN “garden”, the nuttiness from the Manchego and crunch from the pine nuts take the backstage so the zucchini can be the rockstar.

Recipe: Grilled Zucchini Ribbons with Toasted Pine Nuts and Shaved Manchego

Serves: 2-3 people

1 jumbo zuchini
2/3 cup of pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 oz. of Manchego
1 small handful of basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Turn oven on to 375 degrees F.
2. Spread pine nuts out on a baking sheet. Once oven is ready, place pine nuts in oven for 4-5 minutes, watching carefully until they are lightly toasted. Take out and cool.
3. Turn your grill on. (We used a George Foreman grill, but outdoor grills work great, if not better.)
2. Over a serving platter using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise so that you end up with long strips.
3. Once the grill is heated, place the long ribbons of zucchini on the grill and grill for one minute until grill marks show. Be careful to not overcook the zucchini or else it will be too soggy.
4. Gently placed grilled zucchini ribbons on the serving platter. Lightly toss with olive oil, lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, and salt and pepper.
5. Finish the dish with shaved manchego and sprinkle some fresh basil on top. Serve immediately.

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