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.
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.