Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
Local zucchini is rolling into grocery stores and farmers markets. Turn it into "noodles" by slicing it super-thin and tossing with fresh basil pesto. It's low-cal, inexpensive and perfect for hot summer evenings.
I used the julienne blade of a mandoline to cut the zucchini into long thin strands, but you also could do it by hand with a knife or vegetable peeler. We sauteed the noodles in a little olive oil before adding the pesto.
4 small zucchini, ends trimmed
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cherry or grape tomatoes, optional
Use a julienne peeler or mandoline to slice the zucchini into noodles. Set aside.
Combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add lemon juice and Parmesan, pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more olive oil.
Combine the zucchini and pesto. Toss until noodles are well coated. Top with tomatoes, if using. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Note: If you want to cook the noodles, just add the zucchini pesto noodles to a skillet and saute up over medium heat. It takes only a few minutes.
Serves 2 to 3.
Gretchen McKay: email@example.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.