Before becoming a raw food chef, I lived in Italy for 7 years, where I discovered and cultivated my strong passion for good quality food. I learned all about seasons, local products and taking care of the quality of the ingredients.
Italian cuisine is simple, using only a few ingredients and letting them stand out because they are simply great, quality ingredients. I love this zucchini noodle dish, because I designed it with this Italian philosophy in mind. I bought these amazing mushrooms at the local market a couple of weeks ago and used my Italian influence to add other ingredients that match the flavor, letting these mushrooms shine and stand out, rather than covering up their distinct flavor.
It’s a simple and delicious combination of a few local and seasonal ingredients with some other additions. And what makes it even better is that it’s so quick to prepare, it’s almost a fast food lunch with gourmet qualities.
Prep time: 20 minutes
1 zucchini, spiralized and massaged with 1/4 t salt (let sit for 20 minutes and strain out excess water)
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/6 of a red onion, slivered
1-2 wild mushrooms (I used German Maroni for this, but you can use any wild forest mushroom)
2-3 sun-dried tomato halves, cut in thin stripes
3 black olives, cut in small pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
a small handful of wild herbs/greens, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon poppy seeds
2-3 walnut halves, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon walnut oil
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t tamari or balsamic vinegar
1/2 avocado, cut into cubes
1 Brazil nut
Start with preparing the zucchini. Use a spiralizer to spiralize the zucchini into rather thick noodles (called “tonnarelli” in Italy). Sprinkle them with a little salt and using your hands, massage the salt into the noodles a little bit to soften them and to start releasing the water. Let them sit in a bowl while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.
In a bowl, mix walnut oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice with garlic, onion, thinly sliced mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. You may add a dash of honey or yacon syrup if you like to add a touch of a sweetener. Once you have all the other ingredients prepared, strain the zucchini from their excess water, then toss them in the prepared dressing. Add the other ingredients and mix all well, lightly tossing everything with your hands. Be careful not to squish the avocado too much.
Use a metal ring to place the dressed noodles nicely on one corner of a plate. Using a microplane or other zester, grate one Brazil nut on top and around the noodles for garnish and a nutty flavor and garnish with a sprig of thyme or other herb of your choice. Enjoy immediately.