Steamed, spiralized zucchini has a similar texture and consistency to regular pasta and noodles, making a great way to enjoy many Italian dishes without gluten, and lower carbs. Here, it's paired with a sun-dried tomato pesto that is bursting with umami flavor – “the fifth taste” known as “savory tastiness. Sauté shallots in extra virgin olive oil until golden around the edges and caramelized – then add garlic, seasonings, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh thyme, and a splash of red vinegar. Finish the pesto by blitzing in a food processor – adding toasted pine nuts for added flavor. Top with tasty, multi-colored cherry tomatoes – their sweetness is a wonderful addition to the dish.
Zucchini Noodles With Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 2 medium zucchini, one green, one golden
- 1 cup sun-dried tomato halves (about 3 ounces)
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup shallots, peeled, 1/2-inch dice
- 3 medium fresh garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, off the stem
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hot chili flakes, or Marash pepper
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted, divided
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons small basil leaves
- 1/2 cup colorful cherry tomatoes, halved
To Make the Noodles:
- Clean zucchini and spiralize as the manufacturer directs for your machine.
- Cook in a steamer basket for 2 minutes until softened. Drain and pat the zucchini “noodles” dry with plenty of paper towels.
- Place them in a serving bowl. Make pesto.
To Make the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto:
- Slice the sundried tomatoes into julienne strips. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat until golden around the edges and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Cook over low heat to blend the flavors and soften the sun dried tomatoes, about 3 minutes. Take off heat, add the vinegar, give a stir.
- Add to a food processor with the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of pine nuts – pulse to make a coarse pesto. Add more olive oil if you desire for the right consistency.
- Top the zucchini noodles with 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomato pesto – carefully mix in.
- Top with remaining 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts, small basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.
- Delicious warm or cold. Refrigerated, a delicious cold dish the next day as flavors will blend well.
- Store pesto in a clean glass container – add a film of oil to cover.
Makes 1 1/4 cups pesto