Happy Fourth everyone! Inspiration struck at the Union Square Farmers’ Market today as I was thinking about what to bring to my family’s holiday barbecue. I’ve been feeling so relaxed and rested lately that my creativity has been on fire. As a creative soul, it’s hard on me when I feel like I’ve got nothin’ to express, or (and maybe worse) when I have tons of ideas but not enough energy to see them through. But today it’s literally pouring out of me, which is just the most amazing feeling. I found myself at the Union Square Green Market with time (and energy) to kill before teaching my Saturday class and, four hours later, I’m here sharing this recipe with you!
I decided to make zucchini pasta with my new spiralizer! This thing is amazing. Honestly, I don’t really know what I’m doing but I don’t think it takes a genius to figure it out. The spiralizer is so cheap and easy to use, I’m wondering where it’s been all my life.
The “pasta” couldn’t be easier to make. Spiralize (is that a verb?) four zucchini right into a giant sauté pan (the spiralizer comes with a tray, which is both too small and just one more thing you’ll have to clean; spiralize your veggies directly into a salad bowl or sauté pan instead). Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the squash and sauté on high heat for two minutes. Note: If you cook the zucchini too long, they will release a lot of water, so your go-to mantra, as always, is “less is more”.
The pesto is completely vegan. I initially swapped out the traditional parmesan cheese for avocado to give it a creamy consistency, but that plan quickly failed as my beautiful green pesto turned a very ugly brown. So I made another batch using hummus instead of avocado and it turned out great.
Zucchini Pasta with Arugula Pesto
Sauté some cherry tomatoes in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook for ten minutes on a lazy, medium heat.
You’ll need a food processor to make the pesto. Add equal parts arugula and basil. You can always tweak the quantities based on your desired consistency.
-1 heaping cup of arugula
-1 heaping cup of basil
-1 garlic scape
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup hummus
Whiz it all up and pour over your “pasta”. Add the sautéed tomatoes. Toast some pine nuts and add it to the mix; they’ll give your pasta additional texture.
I taste-tested my creation before subjecting my family to my spiralized experiment. It’s good! I would definitely season with salt and pepper right before you serve (adding too much salt in advance will encourage the zucchini to release even more water). I added some sliced avocado to my plate (drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and a dash of cayenne pepper) as an ode to lessons learned.
The zucchini pasta salad was a huge hit at our Fourth of July barbecue! Lots of “hmmmm” and “this is zucchini?” from my family and friends. I’m looking forward to more spiralizing this summer because it’s such a fun way to experiment in my kitchen (and eat more “pasta”)! Most importantly, I’m so excited to see where my creativity takes me.