Lunch Today: Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

zucchini noodles with pesto and cherry tomatoes

There is something about fresh herbs and raw vegetables that just say summer to me. Especially basil. Does anything smell better than basil? Basil isn’t just a tasty herb, it is also a good source of vitamin K. Research suggests that a higher intake of this nutrient helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes. In fact, getting enough vitamin K can cut the mortality risk from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

And zucchini, the main star of this recipe, is no slouch in the taste and nutrition departments either. It contains a range of essential nutrients including vitamin B6, potassium, manganese and vitamin C.

This recipe is a great way to use the bounty of your veggie garden, or take advantage of what is available in season at your local farmers market. It is fresh and light, perfect for those hot days when you don't want to turn on the oven or the barbecue.

The zucchini in this recipe has been cut into strips, with a pesto made from pumpkin seeds, basil, garlic and lemon juice. A spiralizer for the zucchini, a machine that can turn any vegetable into something that resembles spaghetti, comes in handy, but you can also use a vegetable peeler. This results in  "noodles" that are a little wider and flatter. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is gluten free and vegan! Try it and let me know what you think. This serves two.

Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 handfuls basil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you love garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

To make the noodles, use a spiralizer or simply peel long strips of zucchini until reaching the center. Discard the seedy core. For the sauce, combine the pumpkin seeds, basil, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Turn the processor on and slowly pour in the olive oil until the ingredients blend into a smooth paste. Toss the pesto with the zucchini noodles.

Serve cold or at room temperature with extra veggies like "noodle" carrots or cherry tomatoes.