You'll Change Your Mind About Zucchini With This Recipe

My partner, Mike, and I have been on a huge vegetable kick lately. We must be growing up or something, because all of a sudden, we can’t get enough vegetables. When I was a kid, I don’t remember eating vegetables at all; I think the only vegetables I ate were carrots and potatoes, neither of which count as leafy greens. In fact, I don't think a piece of lettuce ever passed my lips until I was about 10 years old. I’m really not sure where I got all my nutrients from, besides the Flintstones vitamins that I was obsessed with. Zucchini, when I was a kid, was much like eggplant in my book: slimy and weirdly textured. Now, though, I can’t get enough.
I find that the trick with zucchini is not to overcook it. Since zucchini is naturally pretty watery, it turns into a mush if you cook it down too much. This is especially true for zucchini noodles. Also note that zucchini doesn't need too much heat; all you want to do is soften it a bit.

Related: Mac-&-Cheese Waffles — Yep, You Read That Right

Photo: Courtesy of I Am A Food Blog.
Shrimp & Zucchini Noodles With Fennel, Lemon & Herbs
Adapted from
Bon Appétit
Serves 2

2 tbsp neutral oil, divided
1/2 lb large shrimp, deveined (and peeled, if desired)
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced lengthwise, fronds saved
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/2 lemon, seeds removed, very thinly sliced, divided
2 small zucchinis, spiralized using the smallest blade
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Related: Mini Ham and Cheese Croque Monsieur Puff Pastry Tarts

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until slightly charred, pink, and cooked through. Season generously with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and set aside.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the fennel slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and soft, 10-12 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and half of the lemon slices. Cook until garlic is soft, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the zucchini noodles, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until tender and cooked through, 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness of "zoodles."

5. Add the shrimp back into the pan and toss to combine.

6. In a small bowl, toss the cilantro, fennel fronds, and remaining lemon slices with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve on top of the shrimp and zucchini noodles.

Next: Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake

More from Food & Drinks


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.