Basil Pesto and Zucchini Noodles (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
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This evening I made this amazing dish for my husband and our dear friend Todd. Unknown to me at the time, basil is one of his favorite foods! Todd has been staying with us for the past week and everyday I am exposing him to delicious raw dishes.
Tonight’s dish didn’t let us down. It was a huge hit with everyone! It is so fresh and fragrant! Not to mention the color of the sauce is so vibrant. I stumbled upon this recipe years ago and I believe it is by Penni Shelton. One batch is the perfect amount for 2 servings.
yields 1 cup sauce
- 4 cups packed fresh basil
- 1/3 cup cold-pressed olive oil
- 1/3 cup raw pine nuts or cashews
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- Freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 4 medium zucchini’s, spiralized
- After spiralizing the noodles, place them in a shallow baking dish, spreading them out. Sprinkle with a liberal amount of salt and set aside.
- The salting process will help draw the liquid out of the noodles, making them limp-like. You will start to see them sweat and then release puddles of liquid.
- Once done soaking, place them in a colander and rinse them with hot water.
- You can warm the noodles prior to serving by placing them in the dehydrator at 115 degrees (F) for about 15 minutes or until it reaches the level of warmth that you desire.
- In a food processor or blender, combine basil oil, nuts, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Process until you achieve the desired consistency.
- If you don’t have any basil or just a little bit, you can use spinach in its place or as a mix.
- Transfer into a small covered bowl and store in your refrigerator until you are ready to use it
- This should keep 1-3 days. You can also easily freeze this pesto and thaw when ready to use.
- You can either coat the noodles with the sauce or serve the sauce on top of the pile of noodles. I like it well mixed so everything gets coated.
- Enjoy at room temp, chilled, or place the dish in the dehydrator to warm at 115 degrees (F).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.