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Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Sauce

Image of Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Sauce
By Heidi Allison

A great alternative to pasta, zucchini noodles (aka “zoodles") are a low-carb, low calorie and gluten-free alternative to conventional wheat noodles. Not only is this clever dish easy to prepare, the light “pasta” is a healthier choice as well, since Zucchini is a good source of potassium (helps control high blood pressure by mitigating the effects of salt), magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B1, B6 and B12.

The flavor profile of this dish is slightly sweet, with a subtle bitter grace note from the Flat-Leaf Parsley acting as the counterpoint flavor. While lime zest is not the usual acidic top note in pesto, in this dish, it works! To serve it as a main, double the amount of zucchini, and add a protein, such as grilled octopus, shrimp or chicken, switching out the lime zest for lemon zest.

Start to finish, you can get this side on the tables in less than 10 minutes. And, kids love this dish— a great way to sneak veggies and more “greens” into their diet.

Serves: 2 as a side

Ingredients:
Image of Ingredients for Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Sauce
4 small Young Zucchini, washed
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1 cup Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, packed
1 cup Fresh Basil, packed
⅓ cup Pine Nuts
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Finely Grated Parmesan cheese
Zest of ½ ripe (Yellow) Lime
2 Tablespoons Water
10 Grape Tomatoes, cut in half

Preparation:
Image of Remove stem and tip end of zucchini. Using a Japanese benriner vegetable slicer, mandolin fitted with a ¼ inch julienne blade, veggie spiralizer or ceramic julienne vegetable peeler, cut zucchini into ¼ inch matchstick slices. Cover and set aside
Remove stem and tip end of zucchini. Using a Japanese benriner vegetable slicer, mandolin fitted with a ¼ inch julienne blade, veggie spiralizer or ceramic julienne vegetable peeler, cut zucchini into ¼ inch matchstick slices. Cover and set aside.

Place olive oil into medium skillet and heat on medium until warm. Add zucchini and a sprinkle of salt and sauté until zucchini just softens, then set aside.
Image of Place oil, parsley, basil and pine nuts into a blender or Ninja bullet and process until a paste forms. Remove pesto to a bowl and fold in cheese and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Place oil, parsley, basil and pine nuts into a blender or Ninja bullet and process until a paste forms. Remove pesto to a bowl and fold in cheese and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add 2 Tablespoons of pesto to warm zucchini and fold until coated. Plate and place tomatoes around perimeter of pasta. Season with a light sprinkling of Kosher flake salt and serve.

Authors Notes:

  • This dish can be served room temperature, warm or cold.
  • Keeps 4 days in the refrigerator.
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