Zoodle Doodles

It’s the time of year when Sannie Boervrou‘s generosity knows no bounds.  Call them what you will, courgettes, zucchini and (not-so-baby) baby marrows, I’ve been making pickles, salad and this year, zoodles.

I had long been wanting a spiraliser, and having done a bit of homework, came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t find one that didn’t have some or other drawback.  So, given my tiny kitchen and dearth of storage space for large kitchen gadgets, the key criterion was size.  The price was a bonus because I found it on a sale.

Home I came, with what looks like a giant, double-sided pencil sharpener.  One side makes spiral shavings and the other, which I discovered the hard way, has vicious teeth, makes spaghetti-like bits of vegetables.


I did post a salad with strips of courgette, last year, but since then, I’ve not just experimented with the spiraliser, but also with the flavours.  Particularly, the vinaigrette.  Because the zoodles have a delicate (some would say bland) flavour.  Consequently, for my salads, rather than using a balsamic vinegar which could be too overpowering, I use a local red wine vinegar made in a balsamic style, and which I often use – good flavour without the heaviness of the traditional balsamic.  In addition to lettuce and forgoing the cucumber (for obvious reasons), my standard inclusion is slivers of red onion.


So, a relatively plain salad, that is a great accompaniment to virtually any meal is really easy.  Depending on the meal, add different fresh herbs for a complimentary or contrasting flavour profile.  Here I used coriander and basil and garnished with a bit of red endive.

Equally, one can add, particularly for colour, and I often do, tomatoes and olives.


What I also enjoyed, and which worked much better than the slivers of courgette, was adding zoodles to pasta with pesto.  I have mentioned (probably ad nauseum), that I make my own pasta.  Anyhow, sometimes, at the end of a hard day, I really just want to do a meal with the least possible fuss.  Served, if possible out of just one dish.  Zoodles and pasta allow one to do just that.


This, simple warm pasta salad consisted of roasted cherry tomatoes, lightly sauteed mushrooms and sweet bell peppers that were served on top of pasta and zoodles through which I had stirred basil pesto.

For those who want to avoid the carbs, zoodles make a super substitute for rice, potatoes and, of course pasta.  I’ve also been experimenting with rosti, but have a way to go to perfecting them….

© Fiona’s Favourites 2016

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Gazpacho – easy peasy!

This was not what was originally planned for today, but having shared pictures of the Gazpacho that we had this weekend, on Instagram and on my personal Facebook page, I was “inundated” with requests for the recipe.  I hadn’t made it for a while because our tomato crop last season was underwhelming.  To say the least.  This year, we’ve been deluged; it’s the time of the year when The Husband hears, “You can have anything you like for supper (or lunch or tea, or breakfast), as long as it’s tomato!”

We also have a surfeit of bell peppers and we have onions and garlic that were harvested late last year.

Basic ingredients for Gazpacho (tomatoes ready for skinning). Except for the cucumber, all our own produce.

The original recipe comes from Rose Elliot’s 1994 The Classic Vegetarian Cookbook, published by Dorling Kindersley, and which I bought from Exclusive Books at the Waterfront, not long after I moved to Cape Town a year after it’s publication.*

Gazpacho Recipe

What I do

Gazpacho is a no-cook dish.  The closest one comes to a hot gas stove (in my case, anyway), is boiling the kettle to skin the tomatoes.

I’ve followed that recipe to the word, but as you see from my notes, I’ve also altered things to make it my own.  Here are a few of my tips and what I’ve learned in the 20-odd years I’ve been making this:

  • unless you’re wanting to make a thick, heavy soup, leave out the bread;  I find that if tomatoes are really “beefy”, I still need to add water so that the soup is the right consistency
  • if it needs water, chill it first and be careful not to dilute it too much – add a little iced water and taste, repeating until you’re happy with the texture
  • in the absence of red onions, I have comfortably used white, but less because white onion is stronger than red.  Obviously, if you really like the stronger, raw onion flavour….
  • I’ve used red wine vinegar and Balsamic vinegar and my preference is for Willow Creek’s balsamic style Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar;  I use an extra 10ml.  Again, tasting as you go is important, bearing in mind how the flavours change and develop with chilling and standing
  • seasoning is a very personal thing, but I have found that leaving out the seasoning doesn’t detract from the flavour which makes this a very acceptable soup for people who have problems with both gluten and sodium
  • make it the night before, or at least a few hours in advance and refrigerate – the flavours meld and the soup benefits from being allowed to stand.  A good example of what my father would class as “second-day-soup”, i.e. better the second time round!
  • with the vinegar and the high vitamin C content of tomatoes, this keeps very well.  I make it in big batches, both for our own consumption or for the market

It’s pretty served in glasses or glass mugs:


Gazpacho: easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

A glut

It seems we’re not the only ones with a glut, so for those looking for other ideas of what to do with tomatoes, I’ll be sharing my bottling recipe and that for passata in a while.  It won’t be in the next two weeks as I’ll be travelling and will have limited time for “fiddling” in the kitchen…and on Fiona’s Favourites.

In the meantime, two other ways of using tomatoes:

Ratatouille which is great hot or cold, and uses loads of tomatoes and vegetables currently in season

A fresh tomato sauce that can be bottled or frozen

*No, it’s not on page 32…..

© Fiona’s Favourites 2016