I just can’t stop staring at this beautiful spiralized zucchini and beet salad. The vivid color of the deep dark red beet spirals, the refreshing green and decorative cilantro leaves, and the slightly beet stained pink zucchini noodles make it visually appealing and appetizing to the eye.
It’s been said that the way we see food affects its taste because our eyesight, along with our other senses, triggers our taste buds. Do you agree? Of course, taste and smell still play the greater part, to which my hand and arm responded with a fist pump after eating this salad .
Last summer, I made zucchini noodles with spicy peanut sauce, using my mandolin slicer. Fortunately, the mandolin that my Mom sent me many years ago was forced into an early retirement due to the arrival of the new vegetable spiralizers that have been showing up in stores and in YouTube video demonstrations. I purchased one of the more popular table-top spiralizers and I’m very happy with how easy, fast, and well it works. It’s absolutely amazing in making all kinds of vegetable noodles.
I have mentioned before that my son, Leo, who is now almost 3 years old, has strong interests in noodles but not much in vegetables. There are still days when we have to encourage him to finish the vegetables on his plate. The day came when I brought the spiralizer home. Leo was so excited to help make the noodles by turning the crank handle on the spiralizer. It was entertaining to watch his head move up and down with each crank (which I managed to capture on my iPhone). (Declaimer: He was under careful supervision).
Another success in the “Leo-eating-vegetable challenge”! Leo appreciated his own work. We are also so happy that the idea of the noodle shaped vegetables works for him. The shape of the vegetable matters to this little guy. Not adding any chili oil or spicy sauce to the vegetables made this is a great salad for kids and those of you who don’t like things to spicy.
In order to minimize the pungent taste from raw garlic, I heated some oil in a skillet until it was hot, removed it from the heat, and then added minced garlic to extract the aroma from the garlic. You can call this a quick version of garlic oil. To keep the spiralized zucchini noodles fresh and crisp, I tossed them with the garlic oil. This thin oil layer also prevents the zucchini noodles from excess color staining from the red beet spirals.
Because these spiralized noodles are so easy to make, you can quickly make them and serve right away. If you would like to make it ahead of time, remember to add the salty dressing right before serving.
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- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
- 16 oz zucchini squash
- 1 small beet (approximately 6 oz)
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce (gluten-free if desired)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil after the pan is hot and then wait for 15 seconds until the oil is hot. Remove the skillet from heat and then add the minced garlic and sesame seeds. Set aside and let this garlic oil cool to room temperature while preparing the other ingredients.
- Trim the ends off the zucchini squash and beet. Use a vegetable spiralizer to make thick spiral noodles. Place the zucchini noodles and beet noodles in separate bowls. Add the cooled garlic oil into the zucchini noodles and gently toss until the oil is evenly coated on the noodles. You can refrigerate the noodles until they are ready to serve later.
- Before serving, whisk together all the dressing ingredients except cilantro leaves. Gently toss together with the zucchini noodles, beet noodles, and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.