You know what I can’t stand? When people are all “I LOVE mashed cauliflower. It’s JUST like mashed potatoes.” No it’s not. You’re lying. There is no chance you honestly think mashed cauliflower and mashed potatoes are even remotely equivalent. So just stop. And if you really do think that, please make me some mashed cauliflower, because mine is gross. So, that? That’s not happening here. Don’t be fooled. This isn’t pasta. It’s zucchini. Zucchini noodles. Zoodles. Cute, right? Sure, but “noodle” is misleading. I need to make sure you understand that I am not trying to feed you raw, julienned zucchini and tell you it’s just like spaghetti. It’s not. I am telling you, straight up, this will not replace a craving for carby, starchy, twirly, pasta. But I am also telling you, straight up, this dish is delicious. The zucchini is coated in a simple spinach pesto. It’s fresh, flavorful and ridiculously healthy. There’s no chopping. There’s no cooking. Just some shredding and mixing, and your food processor does most of the work. Did you catch that? There’s no cooking. This comes together quickly, and that’s no accident. I did that on purpose. I know you’ve got a lot to do… like make me mashed cauliflower. Enjoy!
Zoodles with Spinach Basil Pesto (inspired by Cooking Light)
5 medium zucchini (a little less than 3 lbs)
1/2 cup raw almonds, roasted
1 cup packed fresh basil
2 cups packed spinach
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Wash the zucchini. Using a julienne peeler, peel each zucchini into a bowl. Peel until you reach the seeded center. Feel free to save the centers, chop and add to a salad or something but you do not need them for this dish.
2. In a food processor, combine the roasted almonds, basil, spinach, garlic and salt. Process until finely chopped. Drizzle in the olive oil and process until a paste is formed, scraping down the sides as needed.
3. Add the desired amount of pesto to the zoodles. It should make about 3/4 of a cup of pesto. I used all of it on the zoodles and they were heavily coated, which I enjoyed. Do what you like. Finish with salt and pepper.