It’s still quite summer-like here in New York City. Cooler nights but these absolutely stunning cloudless days with barely a stitch of humidity. If you’ve ever been to NYC in the summer you know how close to heaven I am right now. The farmers markets are overflowing with vegetables: giant zucchini, ripe, bursting tomatoes, all those gorgeous greens. Today I give you a few last delicious bites of summer, right in a bowl. Get ready!
I love zucchini. Sautéed, baked, chopped, julienned… So I bought this fancy little tool called a julienne peeler. All I can say is, get ready for greatness. It’s easy to use and your dishes will look well, fancy! It would certainly jazz up stir fry or salads and would make dessert look so pretty with colorful citrus strands.
The one thing I don’t like is raw zucchini. I’ve seen a number of cooks making raw zucchini noodle dishes and that just doesn’t appeal to me. So I decided to make something a little different. You know of my love affair with pesto… So I thought, that would be a lovely combination because garlic and zucchini are great together! And dragging out the last days of summer vegetables? Why yes, I will!
I keep pesto in the freezer so I can make things quickly (and save a piece of summer!) but don’t fret, this is easy to make in just a few minutes!
For the Pesto:
1/2 C grated Romano cheese
1/3 C pine nuts or walnuts
2-3 garlic cloves
1/8-1/4 C olive oil
2 C fresh basil leaves
Grate the Romano cheese (Tip: Parmesan or even Asiago would be fine here as well.) and tear up the basil. Pulse the garlic first to give it a head start then add everything to the food processor, including the pine nuts and pulse to a very chunky consistency. Begin to add the olive oil. (Note: I prefer a very chunky consistency therefore I don’t add a lot of olive oil.) Add just enough to incorporate all the ingredients well. Using a spoonula, scrape down the sides to determine whether you would like to add the rest of the oil.
1 medium zucchini per serving
1-2 TBSP pesto per serving
Set a pot of water to boil. Using the julienne peeler, peel the zucchini into thin noodle strands. Once the water is ready, add salt to flavor it. Add the zucchini and boil for just one minute. Basically, it’s blanching the noodles. Strain or use tongs to add the zucchini to each dish. Add the pesto, a grind or two of fresh pepper and tear a little fresh basil on top. A little hot red pepper would be fun if you like it a little hotter! Add what you like.
How green is that?! Blanching the zucchini with salt brings out its natural flavor and adding the pesto complements that freshness. A sprinkle of your favorite toppings will make this one of the quickest, prettiest dishes to come out of your kitchen, truly! And it just might fulfill those pasta cravings…I’m just saying…Enjoy!