Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Paleo Pesto "Zoodles"

We're currently enjoying a few days on Cape Cod to cap off out summer. While I'm loving the time with my kids in our favorite place, I'm already sick of eating out! This was the last dish I made before we left home, and I find myself craving it right now.

I could eat pesto on just about anything, and it's especially perfect paired with zucchini and tomatoes picked straight from the garden! Added bonus? I was able to use my own basil as well.

If you don't have the time to make your own pesto, it is possible to find some at Whole Foods and other specialty grocers made without cheese. You can also easily omit the shaved Romano here; if you do allow dairy, though, it also tastes particularly good with fresh mozzarella, in the spirit of a caprese salad.

We had some grilled chicken with our "zoodles," but they'd pair nicely with many different protein options.

Pesto “Zoodles”

1-2 medium zucchinis, julienned
salt & pepper
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)
1-2 tbs. toasted pine nuts & additional chopped basil, for garnish

2 cups baby spinach and arugula (I used about a cup of each)
1/2 cup basil
3 minced garlic cloves
1-2 tbs. nutritional yeast (optional, adds a "cheesy" aspect)
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Place julienned zucchini in a colander over the sink. Sprinkle with a little salt and allow to “sweat” for 15-20 minutes to absorb excess water.

Meanwhile, to make pesto put all ingredients but oil in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times.

With the motor running, slowly pour in oil until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, adjusting salt and pepper accordingly.

When ready to cook zucchini, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add “zoodles” and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until just beginning to soften. Season with a little salt and pepper.

To serve, toss zoodles with pesto (start with a couple of tablespoons at a time, you won’t necessarily use all of your pesto). Stir in chopped tomatoes and cheese. Garnish with additional chopped basil and pine nuts.

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