Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Zucchini Pasta with Pesto

I've been vying with the snails for first dibs on the basil leaves lately. I won out this week. The little pot on the patio sported lovely big green basil leaves just begging to be plucked and put to good use. A quick whirl in my mini-processor produced a generous portion of vibrant green sauce to coat the zucchini pasta.

I have a simple Oxo julienne peeler—a $6 investment—that works perfectly for making fettuccine type shards of cukes, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, daikon, any long hard vegetable. No need to invest in a fancy spiral cutter, this works perfectly.

I soak the strands of raw veggie in lightly salted water for upwards of an hour, if time permits. It helps to soften them and make them more spaghetti-like. But soaking isn't absolutely necessary.

I've found that squeezing the veggie pieces dry, in a clean kitchen towel after draining them, helps the sauce adhere and prevents watering it down.

I made a simple pesto:

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 cup fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 Tbs white miso

1/4 olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

Whirl it all to a lovely bright green paste in the food processor. Thin with a bit more lemon juice, if needed.

I garnished the dish with a diced tomato that had been sprinkled with lemon zest and 4-5 minced calamata olives. Then topped it all off with some crumbled, spicy kale chips. The kale chips are a great snack and a super addition to add zing to a meal - a tale for another day!

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