We recently hosted a family dinner. It was still pretty hot when I was preparing the food (I'm a little behind in reporting, as usual), and I wanted to keep the dishes light and easy to prepare without heating up the kitchen. In addition to a bunch of other cold salads, I wanted to make a spiralized zucchini salad, because I was still a-glow with hyper-enthusiasm over my new spiralizer, and itching to spiralize every vegetable that fell under my gaze. I've calmed down since then, and am using the spiralizer with discretion now, but the zucchini salad I made that night was the most commented-on dish of the evening, so I'm sharing the recipe. Or a close facsimile of what I think is the recipe, because there are still lots of zucchinis to be had at the farmers market, and even if you don't have a spiralizer, you could julienne the zucchini, or shred it — or just use regular noodles.
I was throwing ingredients together at high speed while trying to write it all down, so my measurements might not be exact. The thing is, it probably doesn't matter exactly how much of each ingredient I used, but I believe this is pretty close. I was inspired by Rose's post on noodles and pesto, and started out to make that, but ended up making a roasted pepper pesto, instead.
Roasted pepper and pine nut pesto over spiralized zucchini noodles (or any noodles)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nuts (toast them in a pan over medium heat, and don't let them burn.)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 roasted green poblano peppers*
- 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
- 1 bunch fresh basil, tough stems removed
- 3 roasted red peppers from a jar, chopped
- leafy greens for the salad base
- olives for garnish
- In a food processor, combine pine nuts, garlic, salt, oil, green peppers and orange juice concentrate. Purée.
- Wash and trim the basil and roughly chop. Add to the processor and pulse to chop it well, but don't purée it. The basil should have texture and be visible.
- Chop the red pepper and add it to the processor. Pulse a couple of times to distribute it evenly but keep it chunky.
- Just before serving, toss the pesto with the noodles. Place on a platter or in a large shallow bowl that has been line with a dark leafy green (I used endive), and garnish with olives if you wish.
*note: I found freshly roasted poblano peppers at our farmers market but you could roast your own on the stove or in the oven. When they blacken, cool slightly and rub off the outer skin before using.
Here are the rest of the dinner salads. I'll be linking to the recipes or cookbooks they are from during Veganmofo, except for the chickpea salad which is right here on the blog.
Potato salad with dill and vegan chorizo.