I LOVE summer vieggies, and it's always fun figuring out new ways to prepare and serve them. This year, I'm growing a few varieties of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, as well as zucchini, jalapeno peppers, and herbs, and am SO enjoying it... there are few things more satisfying than watching your plants grow from tiny seedlings to huge, productive plants, and then being able to harvest, cook with, and eat your homegrown veggies. It's unreal how much better they taste than their store bought counterparts, too!
Anyway, this Cucumber & Zucchini Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce was a great way to use up some extra cucumber and zucchini that I'd harvested, and it was absolutely delish! I've actually been using my vegetable peeler a lot lately to make salads - I love that the two blades allows you to make super thin, wide ribbons (using the regular peeler) or noodles (using the julienne blade). Both make great raw veggie salads, and I absolutely adore how the peanut sauce in this salad worked with the cucumber and zucchini noodles. So good!
Cucumber & Zucchini Noodles with Peanut Sauce
- 2 large cucumbers
- 1-2 medium or small zucchini
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- peanut sauce, recipe below
- optional: grilled chicken
For the Peanut Sauce:
- 1/2-2/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 tsp. agave syrup (or honey)
- 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2-3 Tbsp. low sodum soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- juice of 1/2 lime, or more if desired
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1-2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
- dash of red pepper flakes, or more if desired
- 1/3 cup warm water
First, make the peanut sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and agave syrup. If the peanut butter is pretty thick, I like to microwave it briefly to melt it a bit. Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and lime juice, and whisk until blended. Stir in the minced/grated garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and whisk in the warm water until sauce is smooth. Set aside.
Next, make the cucumber and zucchini noodles. If you have a spiralizer or mandolin, feel free to use those, but I just used my julienne vegetable peeler. To create the noodles, carefully run the julienne blade along the cucumbers and zucchini, creating long, thin noodles. Note: If you run into any cucumber or zucchini seeds, just rotate the veggie, and continue making the noodles in the remaining seedless areas.
Gently combine the cucumber and zucchini noodles, and add to a plate or bowl. Drizzle with some of the peanut sauce, and gently toss so that the noodles are lightly coated (Just use your hands). Drizzle a bit more of the peanut sauce on top, and then top with cilantro and chopped peanuts.
This salad makes a great light lunch, or you can add grilled chicken for a more protein-packed, filling meal. Enjoy!
*Recipe adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod