Zucchini Saute with Toasted Almonds

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adapted from Smitten Kitchen, where it was inspired by the Red Cat (NYC)

2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp thinly sliced almonds
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch matchsticks with a knife or julienne blade on a mandoline
salt and freshly ground pepper
pecorino romano or parmesan to taste, optional (either grated or very thinly sliced)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot but not yet smoking, add the almonds to the pan.  Cook them, stirring constantly, until they turn golden brown.  This took me about 3 minutes, but watch closely because once they start to brown, they will be ready very quickly.

Add the zucchini to the pan, tossing with oil and almonds until it begins to glisten, about one minute.  You are warming the zucchini more than really cooking it.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, with or without cheese.

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