Summer Zoodles with Creamy Walnut Pesto Sauce
Recipe Redux: We Heart Walnuts! Recipe Challenge
Disclaimer: I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Summertime is a perfect time for getting active outdoors. Nothing beats a long day of hiking, biking or group sports out in the warm sun and fresh air. On these high activity days I often find myself craving a hearty meal, yet don’t want to fill my kitchen up with a bunch of heat from the stove.
This dish is a perfect and simple solution to this dinner dilemma. The Creamy Walnut Pesto sauce is so rich and satisfying, and everything- even the noodles- need no cooking!
“Zoodles” is my name for zucchini noodles. Making them is super easy if you have a spiralizer peeler. This fun, timesaving tool has blades that run in two directions. With it, you can cut out perfect noodle strips with every slice you make. Serve the zoodles uncooked so that they have a nice al dente texture. Making summer pasta will never get easier than that!
I love using walnuts in my pesto because I know they give my dish a big boost of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, and especially beneficial on a long, hard day of exercise and play. Just one ounce of walnuts has 2.5 grams of Omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) Bonus: they taste delicious in it too. Now that’s something to get nutty over.
1 cup Walnuts
5 cups Basil leaves, fresh, rinsed
3 large Garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, chopped
1/3 cup Olive oil, extra virgin
4 large Summer Squash, cut into noodles
4 large Zucchini, cut into noodles
for the garnish
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/3 cup Cherry tomatoes, sliced
To a high-powered blender add the 1 cup walnuts plus the basil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Blend on high, using a damper to help feed in ingredients as needed. While blending, slowly add in the olive oil. Blend until all the basil is chopped and you have a creamy sauce consistency.
Add summer squash and zucchini noodles to a large mixing bowl. Add Walnut Basil Pesto sauce to noodles and gently toss to combine. transfer noodles to serving bowl(s), top with remaining walnuts and cherry tomatoes and serve.
Makes 4 entree servings.