Friday, September 11, 2009
Opo. Aside from it being a word in the Philippine language, it is also a type of long squash with a taste similar to a zucchini. Actually, in the Philippines it's called Upo. These green veggies can grow from 6-inches to 36-inches long and as thick as having a 12-inch diameter. From the pic below, I think I got 4-5 pounder that was roughly a foot or so longer. It's also goes by another name Bottle Gourd. You can find out more about this squash here. Those suckers can get HUGE.
Anyway, I turned this giant squash into spaghetti strips using my little handy-dandy do-dad with melon baller attached. You can use a grater also to cut them into strips. Just grate them lengthwise.
I sauteed the strips in a little olive oil and minced garlic. For the sauce, I roasted the eggplant then pureed it in the food processor. After, I combined it with some sour cream, chopped green onion, herbs and some shredded crab meat. The crab is optional, if you want to keep this dish purely vegetarian. Then I mixed it all together and presto. Veggie noodles in sauce. You can use zucchini if you're not able to find opo in any markets.
Don't mind its appearance, but trust me when I say this really tastes super good and healthy, too.
Opo in an Roasted Eggplant Sauce
1 large Opo or 2-3 large zucchini - shaved into strips
1 large eggplant
3-4 Tbsp sour cream
1 green onion - finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp dry parsley
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c chopped crab meat - cooked and free of any shell (optional)
Preheat your broiler.
Divide the eggplant in half and lightly drizzle and coat them with some olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and broil until browned and roasted. Roughly 5-6 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let them cool before scooping out the flesh from the skins. Mash them really well or pureé them in the food processor. Place in a bowl and add the sour cream, parsley, green onion and the optional crab meat. Season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cut the opo or zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds. Shave the halves into thin spaghetti like strips. Or shred them into pieces. You may peel them from the skins, if you prefer.
Once you've shaved them, drizzle a little olive oil in a pan and saute the garlic for 30 sec, then add the opo /zucchini strips and saute them as well for a few minutes until they are tender. Roughly 5 min.
Then add the eggplant sauce mixture and combine well. Stir occasionally for another 3-5 min.