According to the Hebrew calendar, today is the holiday of love. The date is Tu b’Av (15th of the month of Av), which is a minor, yet the most mysterious of all Jewish holidays. There are no special observances, other than certain sad portions omitted from the prayer service, although in modern Israel it is considered a sort of Jewish Valentine Day.
Most importantly, it is truly the day when “all you need is love”! And because of that, the Gemorrah calls it “the greatest festival of the year” (with Yom Kippur a second greatest). On this day, in the ancient times, “daughters of Jerusalem would go dance in the vineyards”, and “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to seek a prospective bride (Ta’anis). That was the original annual singles event!
To fully appreciate the significance of love in Jewish culture, all you have to do is look at the gigantic AHAVA (LOVE) sculpture by Robert Indiana in Jerusalem Museum – 12 ft (almost 37 meters) tall! We believe that on this day, the day when love reigns supreme, things take a turn for the best, and every miracle mysteriously becomes possible.
Gam Zu l’Toivo – and this shall be good, today and every day, if we approach it with love. On Mother’s Day, my son sent me his love and a kitchen gadget I’d coveted for a long time – spiralizer. Since then, I’ve been spiralizing everything in sight. You have already seen results of this obsession in my Korean Carrots recipe (see here), but with abundance of zucchini glutting the market, I finally got to the ubiquitous ZOODLES.
First try: three young and beautiful (just like those maidens in the vineyard) zucchinis and a regular pasta setting. Cut both ends and save them for stir-frying later as a special treat.
Stir fry zoodles on barely misted with oil deep frying pan or in a wok, add diced tomatoes, minced garlic, fresh coarsely chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. As an afterthought, I added a splash of sweet red wine, for a little more love.
In just a few minutes, your zoodles soften and absorb the flavors. It’s ready!
All you need is love to make this festive hot or cold appetizer, salad, or side dish. Happy Tu b’Av, Beautiful People, and may all your dreams come true and all your challenges be resolved today!
- 3 – 4 small to medium zucchini spiralized on pasta setting or thinly sliced, unpeeled
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large soft tomato, diced
- Large handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- A splash of sweet red wine or juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lightly mist deep frying pan, dutch oven, or wok with oil.
- On high heat, stir fry spiralized zucchini.
- Add the rest of ingredients, toss together. Cover, cook for 3 – 5 minutes, until zoodles reach desired softness.
- Stir and remove. Serve hot or cold, garnished with cilantro sprigs.