Friday, June 7, 2013

Zucchini Noodles with Sunflower Seed Pesto

We've been on a bit of a recipe drought lately. It's time for a new one! Lately my good meals have been eaten out and my home meals have been pretty typical or - as in the case of city days this week, a Balance bar and a spoonful of peanut butter - nonexistent. Except last night.

This pile of "noodles" would've looked much more appealing if I'd put it in a bowl and tried to take a pretty picture, but I was starving and Matt was already halfway through his serving by the time I took my first bite, so this is what we've got.

A while back I came across a recipe for sunflower seed pesto and tucked it away in my brain for a later day. To my surprise and delight last night, I came downstairs after work and found Matt tossing things into the food processor to make his own version, and it turned out delicious. The pesto has the usual stuff - basil (fresh from the not-yet-planted-garden), garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, s&p, but instead of pine nuts or walnuts, it has sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds gave it such a unique flavor - smooth, not quite nutty, but really interesting. And really tasty.

For the "pasta," I made a batch of zucchini noodles the same way as last time. Shredded up and a quick blanch in boiling water. I also steamed some fresh broccoli for an extra serving of the green stuff.

Italian food without the carbs. Mmm.


Off to curl up with a movie on this rainy evening. My parents are coming in late tonight for a quick visit on their way to PA, and tomorrow Matt, Riker and I are headed for a mini family getaway to the Poconos. Yay for the weekend!

Zucchini Noodles with Sunflower Seed Pesto

Serves 2

3 medium zucchinis
3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 handfuls fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil (plus more as needed)
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a mandoline or julienne tool, shred the zucchini into long, spaghetti-like strips. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; drop the zucchini strands in for 1-2 minutes, until hot but still firm. Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, add sunflower seeds, chopped garlic cloves, basil and parmesan cheese. Pulse until everything is combined and minced well; drizzle in olive oil while the blade is running, until the pesto comes together in a smooth paste (start with 1/4 cup and add up to a 1/2 cup as needed).

Toss the cooked zucchini noodles with the pesto and serve immediately.

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