Giada De Laurentiis Just Shared One of Her Favorite Ways to Use Zucchini and It’s a Deliciously Simple No-Cook Recipe

This four-ingredient dish is an easy way to use up summer zucchini.

<p>Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal/Getty Images</p>

Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Reviewed by Dietitian Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., RDReviewed by Dietitian Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., RD

Whether you’re a gardener, a farmers' market regular or just in the mood for some zucchini, you probably know that there’s no shortage of the delicious vegetable in the summer. It can be easy to let the fresh, tasty squash start piling up in your fridge, which means you need a delicious new recipe to help you get through your stash.

That’s where Giada De Laurentiis’s nifty Zucchini Crudo with Burrata comes in handy. De Laurentiis shared the recipe this week on Instagram, where she showed folks how to whip up this easy, no-cook recipe in just a few steps. As De Laurentiis explains in her video, "crudo" is the Italian word for "raw." While you might associate crudo with raw fish, the word is just as applicable to this simple side dish.

To start, you’ll want to gather your ingredients—namely some zucchini, flaky sea salt, black pepper, lemon zest, burrata, basil and extra-virgin olive oil. To prep the zucchini, Giada uses a mandoline to cut the zucchini into thin slices that are about 1/8-inch thick. Though many of us here at EatingWell are big fans of mandoline slicers, you should exercise caution while using one—keep your hand flat and parallel to the blade so you don’t catch your fingertips on the sharp edge. And if you don’t have a mandoline, a sharp knife can easily take its place. (Our guide to cutting zucchini is a good starting place for folks who don’t often cook with this veggie.)

Related: I'm a Dietitian & These Are My Favorite Recipes to Use Up Zucchini

When your zucchini is sliced thin and laid out on a serving plate, it’s time to reach for the salt. As Giada notes, salt draws some of the excess water out of the zucchini, helping it soften and develop a slightly cooked texture without you ever having to use the stove or oven. As the zucchini softens, use a microplane or a zester to zest your lemon over the zucchini, scattering the zest around the plate. By the way, try to only zest the yellow layer of your lemon’s skin. If you continue zesting into the white pith layer, you can end up with a more bitter taste than what Giada’s going for with this dish.

With the lemon and salt added, you can also add some freshly cracked black pepper and torn fresh basil. Be sure to distribute both of those ingredients evenly, so you won’t have to toss your crudo before serving. The last two ingredients, burrata and olive oil, will give your dish a nice creaminess to contrast with the fresh bite of your zucchini. Just be sure that you rip the burrata and dry it before adding it to your plate—you don’t want to add lots of the cheese brine to your dish or things may get soggy. Then finish everything off with a generous drizzle of olive oil, and voilà: you’ve got a perfect summer recipe that’s packed with flavor and health benefits.

Zucchini has developed quite the reputation as a low-carb staple, but that’s not the only nutritional benefit you can enjoy when you reach for one of these verdant squash. Zucchini skin, for example, is rich with carotenoids, which can support your skin health and bone strength. Plus, zucchini’s carotenoids could even help you maintain a healthy weight and protect your heart from cardiovascular disease.

If you add this crudo to your summer repertoire, consider serving it on a day that you’re grilling out, maybe with your favorite family recipe or a simple Grilled Red Snapper. The crudo would also make a great take-along side dish for a day at the beach or in the park—pair it with a yummy sandwich like our Green Goddess Sandwich or Loaded Cucumber & Avocado Sandwich for a fresh, veggie-forward meal.

However you serve it, this simple Giada original is a great way to cool down with something utterly tasty during the summer months.

Read the original article on Eating Well.

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