Simple Basil Pesto with Zucchini “Noodles”

The farmer’s market is bursting with zucchini and squash right now so it’s the perfect time to try your hand at making zucchini noodles. This is raw food made easy and sometimes even I tire from having a big salad (shocking, I know).

NoBeanHummusPhoto In my years of being an aspiring raw foodie, I’ve learned that zucchini pasta is an easy-to-make, go-to staple. And it’s kind of bland so it makes a great base for different flavored  toppings, sauces, spices and veggies.

The simplest way to make zucchini pasta is to peel it into long, narrow, “spaghetti-like strips” using a good ole fashion vegetable peeler. You can also invest in a mandolin or a “spiralizer,” which makes a linguini shaped noodle.

 

I LOVE my spiralizer! I find it super fun to make these cute curly pasta pieces. Check it out:

 

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For just around $60 you can buy one of these online at Sur La Table. There are definitely cheaper ones on the market but overall I’ve been super happy with this one. And it’s easy to clean, which is a bonus in my world. Check out the beautiful noodles:

I tossed the noodles with some olive oil and some Simple Basil Pesto. I didn’t have many toppings but the fam was eating roasted green beans and garden peas so I threw those on top. My 3 year old loved these by the way. You can easily top this with variety of veggies like mushrooms, cherry tomatoes (when not on the cleanse), shredded carrot, broccoli, garden peas, onion, cucumber or sprouts.

Here are the recipes. Happy noodle making!
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Simple Basil Pesto Zucchini “Noodles”

Yield: 2 large bowls

Ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchini
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 shiitake, crimini, or your favorite mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 TB. Simple Basil Pesto (recipe below)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini into angel hair-like pasta, and place in a bowl. Drizzle with a very small amount of olive oil, add carrot and shiitake mushrooms, and toss with Simple Basil Pesto. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and serve.

This pesto is to die for! If you have a high quality Himalayan crystal salt, use it generously in this recipe. It’s slightly sweet and really helps bring out the flavors of this simple, cheese-less pesto. Who knew pesto could be so good without loading it down with parmesan cheese? I like this version so much because it is light and decadent! It also makes a great dip for cauliflower or carrot sticks. Enjoy!

Simple Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

Yield: about 1 cup

  • 3/4 cups pine nuts
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

In a food processor fitted with an S blade, combine pine nuts, basil, garlic, and sea salt. While mixing, drizzle olive oil into the food processor. Add more oil as needed to blend into a creamy paste. Season with additional sea salt as needed.

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Showing 7 comments
  • Vickie Bohlender

    Do you cook these “noodles” in this recipe before adding other ingredients?

    • Julie Peláez

      Hi Vickie. I don’t cook them. I guess you could warm them up if you prefer but not too much since the idea is to keep the enzymes and vitamins alive. :)

  • Renge' Grace

    Hi Jules,
    I tried making my own “angel hair” zucchini noodles yesterday and it was super fun and easy! Love the spiralizer tool a friend loaned me ;) However, I followed someone else’s instructions to soak the noodles in water with a pinch of salt to remove the starchiness and then did not dry them well before adding the pesto. Made for a watery mess later! What are your thoughts on soaking the noodles this way? Thanks, Renge’

    • Julie Peláez

      Hi Renge. I’ve personally never heard of that technique. I like the pinch of sea salt but have never tried soaking them.

  • Marcello A. Belloli

    Hello Julie, I know this was a year ago….but I’ve been looking at trying my hand at Spiralized Zucchini and found your recipe. I was very surprised at the proportions of Basil to Pine Nut. I’m usually using 1/4 cup pine nuts to 2 cups of Basil. Now, I’m wondering if this is done this way because of the Zucchini? How do you end up with 1 cup of Pesto, when you start with 1 1/2 cups of Pine Nuts?

    Thanks,

    Marcello

  • Dani Beaver

    Hi there,
    I have noticed that the pesto recipe on the website and in the book are different and have different amounts?
    Which one should be used?

    Thank you,
    Dani

    • Jo and Jules
      Jo and Jules

      Hi Dani, That’s a good question. It really depends how you like it. This recipe will be a thinner of a consistency than the one in the book. It will also have a stronger basil taste. Both are tasty, it just depends on your preference. XO, Jo & Jules

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