I think we've all found ourselves in the situation of having random leftover vegetables in the refrigerator, such as one lone piece of zucchini or yellow squash that we don’t have any cooking plans for, but yet, we don't want to waste. Here's where a spiralizer can be extremely useful.
One of my favorite tools we carry at The Chopping Block is the Oxo handheld spiralizer because it's so great at taking care of leftover vegetables. This week I was faced with the situation I mentioned above where I had leftover zucchini, carrots and squash, so I put my spiralizer to work. The spiralizer creates small thin spirals easy to use. You don’t even need to cook the vegetables which makes it fun to add them to a salad, a garnish for a dish or even a quick pickle. Pickled spiralized veggies would be the perfect complement to a burger. You don’t need to follow a recipe for making a salad, so get creative.
Once I spiralized my vegetables, I added a pinch of Maldon sea salt, drizzled some olive oil, apple cider vinegar and fresh ground pepper (if you aren't grinding your pepper fresh, I urge you to try it and you'll never go back to your pepper shaker). You could also substitute the apple cider vinegar with Cream of Balsamic vinegar which is a perfect way to add a touch of sweetness yet still have the tang of vinegar in your salad. Like I said, be creative!
I recently introduced the spiralizer during one of our Iron Chef team building competitions. We host these types of private cooking events often, and I love leading a team because all of the creativity truly comes from the guests. In this event, my team created a dish of sauteed baby bok choy. We had a lot of green on our plate and needed some color so I suggested a spiralized carrot and that did the trick. It instantly transformed our dish into a world of bright color! At the end of that event, almost everyone in my group went home with a spiralizer to use at home.
My philosophy toward any kitchen tool is that it should have multiple functions. For example, you can use the Microplane or the fine Rosle grater for zesting citrus and grating cheese, especially hard cheeses like Parmesan. If you were intrigued by the pickling idea I mentioned earlier, try this quick pickling recipe with some spiralized veggies.
Quick Pickled Vegetables
2 cups apple cider vinegar (you can use rice wine vinegar too)
½ cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons kosher salt
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 large carrot
1 whole seedless cucumber
1. Place the vinegar, sugar, salt, citrus zest, and peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Place the thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers in a bowl. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables and place in the refrigerator. Allow to pickle for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 month in your refrigerator.
If you want to test drive the spiralizer, stop in either of our stores and our staff is happy to show you how easy it is. We also use them often in our cooking classes so check out our class calendars to find a class that interests you.