This is a simple plate of tangled summer vegetables – tender zucchini noodles and carrot ribbons, gently blistered green beans and shallot-kissed mushrooms, all dressed up in a bright, smoky sauce. We’ve been eating it this week, first as a salad on its own, then as a side dish, and the leftovers made their way on top of hearty sourdough toast – all equally delicious and so fresh.
There’s a few things to be said about the bright orange sauce that completes this summery veggie tangle. The color comes from Spanish smoked paprika, which is one of my most reached for items on the spice rack. The spice, which comes from hot peppers that have been smoked dry and then ground, can add just the right amount of deep, savory flavor to so many dishes. It yields a warming, complex flavor, but isn’t as hot as pepper flakes or cayenne, so I use it pretty generously. In the winter, when I roast squash and roots, I often give them a pinch of smoked paprika, which takes them to that next level of heartiness. I also love adding it to all kinds of grain dishes, stews and marinades. If you haven’t tried smoked paprika yet, I encourage you to give it a go, it’s a game changer and will be your friend when building up flavor in many savory dishes.
At first, the sauce acts as a dressing, but after a few nights in the fridge, the vegetables marinate in all the smokiness, and the dish gets a sort of second life, and a delicious one at that. This kind of spicy, marinated vegetable dish reminds me of the cuisines of my homeland in the southwest of Russia, the Caucasus, where in the summer, the markets are overflowing with stands full of the most colorful pickles and marinated veggies that you can buy by the kilo. Food has an extraordinary ability of bringing back the feeling of home, if even for a second. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon sriracha/hot sauce of choice
- 2-3 garlic cloves - minced
- 1-2 small to medium firm zuchini - sliced into noodles using a julienne peeler, spiralizer or mandoline (I use this one)
- 1 medium carrot - shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- ½ tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon neutral coconut oil - divided
- 1 shallot - chopped
- ½ lb crimini mushrooms - sliced
- tamari for drizzling - to taste
- 2 large handfuls young green beans - strings removed if present
- juice of ½ lemon
- handful parsley leaves - chopped (optional)
- salad greens and/or microgreens
- few tablespoons chopped hazelnuts or almonds - toasted if preferred
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine zucchini and carrots in a large mixing bowl or platter. Set aside.
- Warm ½ tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add shallot and saute for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for another 5-7 minutes, until they begin to brown. Lightly drizzle with tamari and stir around until absorbed. Add the sauteed mushrooms and shallot to the zucchini and carrots.
- Warm the remaining 1 teaspoon coconut oil over medium heat in the same saucepan. Add green beans and saute for 2-3 minutes, until bright green and blistered in places. Squeeze lemon juice over beans and lightly drizzle with tamari. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until liquid is evaporated and beans are crisp-tender. Add to the bowl with the vegetables.
- Add parsley, if using, and salad greens and/or microgreens. Drizzle the smoky sauce over vegetables. Toss to coat and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve immediately. You can also store the tangle in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The vegetables will become marinated and delicious in a new way.