amuse-bouche: zucchini nest

Happily, I am back in Morocco, the source of this blog’s inspiration and its name.

It’s very good to be back. [More images here]

This time I’m living in Rabat, happily ensconced in between a tram line and the fruit & vegetable (& olives/pickles & griddle breads & herbs & meat & poultry & dairy) souq of my dreams. So far this has translated into much more cooking than has happened over the past four months in Cairo, so here’s hoping that means more recipes here as well in 2017 as I begin my eighth (! what) year of food blogging.

This recipe is a teaser: a quick bite to throw together for your friends & family while dinner is cooking. All you need is zucchini and a lemon zester and you’re in business.


Zucchini Nest
adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe in the New York Times

Zucchini, two small ones or one large one per serving
Olive oil and/or butter (I like to combine)
Black pepper
Several thin slices of Parmesan or any hard cheese

You won’t use all the zucchini, not even close, so this is best for when you’re already making a dish with zucchini (here are some suggestions). The original recipe suggests carving fettucine-sized slices and discarding the core, but I prefer the thinner slices that the lemon zester produces. This technique only really works for the outermost layers of the zucchini, so you can save more of the original vegetable to use in other dishes.


Start by washing your zukes well in water and drying them. Slice off the very ends.

Next take your handy lemon zester and carve linguini-sized pieces off the top layer or two of each zuke.

Rinse these gently in a colander and pat them dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.

Cook them in a small amount of olive oil or butter (just enough to coat the zucchini strands) on medium-high heat. Cook only for a few minutes, just until they’re on the other side of raw.

Arrange prettily in little nests with a fork. Dust with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tuck a few thin slices of good Parmesan or another hard cheese and serve.

If you prefer a lighter take, try cooking in just olive oil and serving with some crumbled feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.


2 thoughts on “amuse-bouche: zucchini nest

    1. Thanks! I’m in the Akkari neighborhood. I love the Quartier Hassan too. Happily Rabat is quite easy to get around––much of it’s even walkable––so all my favorite parts of the city are never far away.

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