This can be a completely raw dish. No cooking is required. Or, if you want, you can roast the tomatoes to add a depth of flavor. That would be the most complicated step of this ridiculously easy dish. You can also heat the zucchini on the stove for 3-5 minutes if you would like the dish to be warm. I sautéed my zucchini on the stove after I tossed it with some pesto. The pesto you can make yourself by blending together some basil, garlic, olive oil, and pine nuts. Or you can also buy it pre-made – just make sure that it doesn’t contain Parmesan.
How does a zucchini become noodles, you might ask. You simply use a julienne peeler to strip the zucchini squash down to the seeds, breaking apart any pieces that stick together. I don’t know if making a vegetable into noodles tricks your mind somehow, but I wolfed down two medium zucchini this way. This is not something I normally do. But once the zucchini noodles were mixed with a little pesto and tossed with roasted tomatoes, there was no stopping me. I am lucky I got some photos taken before I tried it, because it was gone in no time. It is definitely going on my list of regulars, as a quick and delicious weeknight dinner.
I can’t emphasize the words quick or easy enough. I am still go over the steps in my head, wondering if I am forgetting something, because I am in disbelief that it was that simple. Peel a zucchini. Toss with pesto and tomatoes. Eat. That’s what, 5 minutes? For a meal? I am seriously considering adding a new category to the difficulty rating system for my recipes, to ‘stunningly simple.’
These zucchini noodles are a great substitute for pasta. The zucchini paired together with the pesto makes a delicious flavor combination, and the tomatoes add a pop of brightness to the dish.
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 tbsp pesto
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- Pine nuts, for topping (optional)
- Use a julienne peeler to slice the zucchini into noodles, stopping when you reach the seeds. Set aside.
- If roasting tomatoes, place onto a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
- Combine the zucchini noodles and pesto, tossing until well coated. Top with tomatoes and pine nuts to serve.
- If cooking zucchini noodles, simply add to a skillet and sauté over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.