Serve alongside burgers, sandwiches, or sausages, or use as a low-carb base for meatballs

Look, I'm not going to do that annoying thing where I try to lead you to believe that these zucchini strands taste remotely like pasta. I'm not stupid, and neither are you, so let's just go ahead and acknowledge that we both know they obviously taste like zucchini.

That said, these just might be your new favorite summer side dish. They take just a few minutes to prepare and are just as tasty hot as they are cold. Thin strips of zucchini soak up the flavorful olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper added to them, and a sprinkle of feta cheese adds just enough pungent tang. They'd also be great with crumbled goat cheese, or even something drier, like cotija or Parmesan.

There are two ways to turn whole zukes into the thin ribbons pictured. You can cut them into a long julienne by hand or you can use a julienne peeler (my method of choice).

See how easy? All you do is peel, and you're left with perfect, even vegetable ribbons.

Serve the finished dish alongside burgers, sandwiches, or sausages, or use as a low-carb base for meatballs (but be sure to assure your guests that you have absolutely NO intention of passing it off as spaghetti).

INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (pantry)
3 cloves garlic, chopped (pantry)
2 pounds zucchini, julienned (no need to peel) ($2)
Salt and pepper to taste (pantry)
dash or 2 of red pepper flakes ($2 for 1 ounce)
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese ($3.50 for 6 ounces)

DIRECTIONS Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute, just until garlic begins to soften.
Add the julienned zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, just until it softens. (Don't let it get mushy.)
Remove the pan from heat.
Toss with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
Serve, or cool and serve either cold or at room temperature, topped with crumbled feta.

Serves 4.

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