summer delight: zucchini pesto
The sun-drenched days of summer are still here, as are the vibrant colors and fresh flavors of seasonal produce. Farmers markets are bursting with all the things and we’re like kids in a candy store - we want it all! Among the stars of the summer vegetable bounty, zucchini stands out for its versatility and mild flavor. Zucchini is abundant at the farmers markets this time of year, there are many varieties and they’re often one of the more economical (read: cheap) vegetables to buy. Which is why zucchini is almost always a part of our daily summer meals - finding its way onto the grill, sautéed on the stovetop, baked into bread or frittatas… but one luscious preparation takes the spotlight - Zucchini Pesto. This delightful twist on traditional pesto brings a burst of green goodness to your plate.
Pesto, a sauce originating from Genoa, Italy, is typically made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. However, zucchini pesto offers a delicious twist by complementing the basil with tender summer squash. The result is a summery version of the classic sauce that captures the essence of the season.
So go ahead and load up on all that zucchini at the market, we know you’ll me making this one on repeat.
One of the beauties of zucchini pesto lies in its adaptability. Not only can it be tossed with pasta for a quick and satisfying meal, but it also shines as a dip, spread, or condiment. Would be yummy on a good piece of bread topped with a fried egg, add a dollop to a grain bowl, or alongside some grilled chicken. Yum, yum, yum
1 cup packed basil leaves + a few more for garnish
1.5 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup olive oil + more for drizzling
1 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 lemon - zest + juice
1 lb. of your favorite pasta
If you’re using the pesto for pasta, get your water boiling first. While you’re waiting for water to boil make the pesto :)
Combine basil leaves, pine nuts and grated zucchini in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
Add the cheese and salt and process very briefly, just long enough to combine.
Cook your pasta, in well salted water, according to package instructions. Drain and combine with pesto. Give it a good toss until pasta is well coated. Divide among bowls, top with a drizzle of olive oil, a few basil leaves, a squeeze of lemon on each bowl and a little zest. Enjoy the summers’ abundance in a bowl :)