Fresh, raw zucchini noodles tossed with basil pesto and cherry tomatoes make a light, healthy meal. Make this recipe for lunch or dinner, or serve it as a side! Recipe yields 4 generous main dish servings.
Basil-pumpkin seed pesto
• ½ small yellow onion, roughly chopped*
• 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
• 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (arugula works, too)
• ½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), toasted**
• ⅓ cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, to taste (or lemon juice)
• Pinch of red pepper flakes
• Salt, to taste
• 3 large zucchini
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes (Heather served her tomatoes whole; I halved mine vertically)
• Fresh basil leaves, for garnishing
1. To prepare the pesto: In a food processor, combine the onion (if using, see notes), garlic, basil, toasted pepitas, olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth and season with salt, to taste (I added about ½ teaspoon—if the mixture tastes overwhelmingly oniony, don’t worry, it will mellow in a few minutes. I added another teaspoon of vinegar to help balance the flavors).
2. To prepare the noodles: Spiralize the zucchini with a spiralizer (here’s how), or turn the zucchini into noodles with a julienne peeler, or grate the zucchini the long way on a large box grater. Toss the zucchini with pesto until well coated, and season with salt (I added another ¼ teaspoon).
3. Transfer the pesto noodles to a large platter and sprinkle with the cherry tomatoes. Tuck the fresh basil in to the corners to garnish.