Warm Zucchini Ribbons, Lemon Basil Pesto and Goat Cheese

I am guilty. You can completely miss a zucchini if you aren’t looking underneath those umbrella leaves.  I wasn’t looking outside the box, and I am pretty sure there is a life lesson metaphor in there somewhere for me.  My husband found this big zucchini an hour after I had done my lap checking for goodies.  I would’ve picked it when it was a little smaller if I had noticed it, the seeds can get bitter on the bigger ones. But I am grateful and glad to have it regardless.

Over in the herb box, they are duking it out for space. I use this lemon basil often but am having trouble using it all before it is goes to flower. I am nipping those buds off every day.

At this point I can’t keep up, better make some pesto. I made a quick one in the blender, adding the usual suspects, olive oil, garlic, some toasted pine nuts, pecorino romano…

Zucchini is so neutral it can be the vehicle so that other flavors can take the driver’s seat, much like with pastas (Credit to Justcook NYC for the zucchini ‘pasta’ inspiration). I peeled the zucchini into ribbons, giving it a quarter turn each time I arrived at the seeds.

I sautéed them with a little olive oil for two minutes in the pan, adding the pesto and some tomatoes near the end to warm them through. A fork scraping of goat cheese, and a good squeeze of lemon to brighten it up. Salt and pepper, a handful of torn lemon basil leaves. It came together fast, and I have pesto left for future quick fixes.


Zucchini Ribbons with Lemon Basil Pesto and Goat Cheese

For the Lemon Basil Pesto:

1 oz olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 oz. pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

1/2 oz. toasted pine nuts

1 oz lemon basil leaves

Add all ingredients to blender or small food processor, blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides and then pulse several times more, ensuring there are no larger garlic chunks. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator. To avoid discoloration, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top before storing.

For the zucchini ribbons: (serves two)

1 TBS olive oil

1 large, or two small zucchini, peeled into ribbons

salt and pepper to taste

1 heaping TBS lemon basil pesto (see recipe above)

1 cup cocktail or cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if larger)

1 TBS goat cheese, crumbled

1 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice

Heat large sauté pan over medium high heat with 1 TBS olive oil until glistening. Add zucchini, heat for 1 minute, add a pinch salt and pepper and turn with tongs. After another 30 seconds to a minute, as zucchini begins to glisten, add pesto and tomato halves and toss in pan until warmed through, about 30 seconds.  Remove from pan and add lemon juice and sprinkle of goat cheese. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

35 thoughts on “Warm Zucchini Ribbons, Lemon Basil Pesto and Goat Cheese

  1. That is one big Zuchinni to miss! I am going to try this recipe tomorrow for my lunch, it looks just perfect and light and delicious, i shall let you know how it turns out- Kate

    • I know, I must learn to think outside the box I guess! I think the rain really made him into a whopper quickly though. You could go in so many different directions with it wherever your refrigerator or pantry, herb offerings take you. Let me know how it goes…I may try some balsamic to finish next time, would be an easy zing of flavor…

  2. I have a real craving for those zucchini ribbons now — they look fresh and zippy.I’m digging your style of cooking, with a scraping of goat cheese, a handful of torn lemon basil leaves, and a squeeze of lemon. That’s the way I like to cook!

  3. That looks gorgeous. I’ve made quick “pickled” ribbons of zucchini, carrots and English cucumbers (stuffed in a mason jar for about 10 minutes with pomegranate vinegar and spices) that turned out good, but this sounds even faster and a great, delicious way to use up those many, many, many zucchinis! LOVE summer!

  4. I could live on zucchini ribbons. I like to peel up one a couple times a weeks and toss with a little oil and vinegar and maybe feta and it’s my go to for lunch. It’s like tasty, calorie free bulk. I really like the idea of using the lemon basil for pesto. In fact I l’ve wanted to try a lemon basil sorbet too. Can you please whip a little of that up 🙂
    Photos are looking great.

    • with feta sounds perfect. I love that kind of dish that satisfies like that. My feta has a date with watermelon soon… one of my favorite summer salads :), but perhaps all that lemon basil should meet with the ice cream maker- great idea!

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