I love re-purposing. Tin cans used for planting, wine bottles turned candlestick holder, glass jars turned into drinking glasses [I know… so Brooklyn of me.] It’s the epitome of trash into treasure, and especially joyous through a dinner lens.
It’s no secret that I love spaghetti squash, scraping out the flesh and turning them into strands of pasta one of my favorite fall activities. But as spaghetti squash is not in season right now, I needed to find a spring veggie-gone-pasta equivalent. Zucchini… I salute you!
It was a night of a lot of firsts in the kitchen. Not only was it my first time making zucchini pasta, but also my first time making pesto. [gasp!]. As someone who doesn’t really eat Italian very often, pesto was just never really on my radar…. Until I realized it was basically just my favorite spring greens + my nut of choice + lemon and garlic.
If anyone can think of a reason why I shouldn’t be eating this pesto as a dip or just by the spoonful, please let me know immediately. [Honestly by the time you’re reading this it might be too late. It’s that good]. Needless to say, I’ve been converted.
This dish is colorful, flavorful, fast, fresh, whole foods goodness in a bowl. If I had another zucchini, I would make another serving right now.
Zucchini ‘Pasta’ with Kale + Walnut Pesto
1 zucchini, shredded into strands
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
¼ c. cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ c. peas
Kale + Walnut Pesto [Vegan]
1 ½ c. chopped kale
¼ c. whole walnuts
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 T lemon juice
1 scant T olive oil
1/8 t. [ish] salt
A dash of pepper
Using a peeler or mandolin, shred the zucchini into long strands. Lay out the strands on a paper towel, and squeeze out the excess water. Set aside while you prepare the pesto.
For the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. If it isn’t creamy enough, add a little more oil or a few drops of water.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 T [grapeseed / olive / sunflower] oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the peas, allow to cook for 30 seconds or so, and add the zucchini with a touch of salt and pepper.
Allow the ‘noodles’ and veggies to cook for 2-4 minutes, until the zucchini in heated through but still crunchy. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of pesto, and continue to cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.
I would tell you to enjoy… but you’ll do that all on your own.