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Zucchini Ribbons with Avocado Pesto

This morning, Dave & I took a walk in our neighborhood and had a little brunch. We were on the early side, so we took our time and enjoyed the cool air - air that seemed a little too cool for August. Don't get me wrong, it was incredibly nice out.  But, I'm a summer girl and the approach of fall is always a little bittersweet for me. 

 

So, this is a recipe that really savors the summer harvest. It's cooling & light. Full of color, vibrancy & bright flavors . It's everything I want from a summer meal. 

 

For this version, I use a vegetable peeler to get wide, thin "noodles" from the summer squash, and I keep them completely raw for a nice cooling meal. Feel free to lighten steam them if you want to get a more traditional pasta feel from the dish. 

Plus, for all you gardeners out there -  I know you need to use up all that summer squash. You can only make so much zucchini bread! 

 

Zucchini Ribbons with Avocado Pesto

Makes 2 large servings

Ingredients: 

2-4 zucchini or yellow squash (depending on size)

1/2 cup arugula

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half (or more, to taste)

For Pesto: 

1 cup basil, very tightly packed

1 1/2 cup arugula

1/2 cup pine nuts 

(can substitute walnuts, or do half  & half, for a more budget friendly version) 

1 avocado, pitted

juice & zest of 1 lemon

2 clove garlic, roughly chopped 

2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup water (or as needed to reach the desired consistency) 

Preparation: 

In a food processor, add garlic and pulse until finely chopped. This will assure you don’t have large chunks in your pesto. Add remaining pesto ingredients, except water, and process on high until smooth & creamy, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add water as needed to reached desired consistency.

 

To make Zucchini Ribbons: Use a sharp vegetable peeler to make thin strips of "noodles". Continue to make stips until you hit the seeded center and can no longer get nice, smooth strips. I like to leave the skin on, but you can peel it first if you like.  Additionally, you can use a spiralizer to make a more traditional "noodle" shape, or a julienne tool for skinny, straight strips. 

 

 

 

Toss noodles & remaining 1/2 cup arugula with pesto & serve immediately. Top with sliced grape tomatoes. 

 

 

 

Notes:  You can get creative with your use of herbs in this pesto. My basil wasn't putting out as much as I'd like the last time I made this, so I added sorrel (which has a nice, lemony flavor) from the garden and it was really lovely. I'm confident a blend of herbs could be used for variation - a touch of tarragon, purslane, carrot tops, beet greens, could all be nice! 

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We served ours with a small portion of pan seared salmon.

Turns out we REALLY LIKED IT. 

What are some other creative ways you are enjoying the summer harvest? 

From the Heart,
Heather