Friday, August 31, 2012

Food on Friday: Summer Squash Pasta

If you saw my recipe for the best zucchini bread ever, you'll know that we had a lot of zucchini grow in our garden this year. And with all the house-sitting and out-of-town trips we've taken (and still have yet to take), our poor garden has been slightly neglected this summer.

That meant we ended up with some baseball bat sized zucchini.

A while ago I came across an amazing looking recipe for zucchini and squash. I finally bought some pine nuts so I could make it.



And oh my goodness. It is as amazing as it looks and sounds. Plus, it's completely raw! Extra healthy, plus it's a refreshingly cool meal for a hot summer day.

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Summer Squash Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto
Makes 4 servings.
4 medium summer squash
2 cups basil leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Using a julienne peeler, julienne each squash from top to bottom. Place julienned squash in a large bowl and set aside. Prepare the pesto: combine the basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until a coarse pesto forms. Toss the zucchini and yellow squash with the pesto. Divide zucchini "pasta" into four equal servings. Top with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes.
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I had two medium squash and a ginormous one too (the latter isn't pictured). I used both medium and half of the huge one. It made about the right amount. The flavor and texture was still great with the huge ones too.



I don't have a julienne peeler. But I do have a cheese grater (or whatever you want to call it--I don't know the fancy names for most of my cooking utensils).






I don't have a food processor either (Seriously, who doesn't have a food processor these days? I really should get one with all the cooking I love to do...) but I do have a Blendtec.



Ahhh, my Blendtec... My husband can have a love affair with his car as long as he lets me keep up mine with the Blendtec he bought me for our anniversary last year. It can do amazing things--far more amazing than a regular ol' food processor can (Okay, maybe I don't need a food processor after all.).

My only change to the original recipe was instead of using 1/4 cup of olive oil, I used closer to 1/3 of a cup. It made the pesto blend better for me without being too oily.



Bob walked through to kitchen as I was pulsing the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, and garlic mixture in the Blendtec. He took one look and in a dreamy tone said, "Ohhhh. I know what that is..." and immediately got excited about dinner. I forget how classy he can be. Sure, he'll eat hot dogs and mac & cheese every day if I let him, but when he sees quality ingredients and gourmet cooking, he turns into quite the dapper fellow.

So if you find that you have too much zucchini, or too large zucchini, and you've had about enough bread and cookies made with zucchini, give this a go. It's bursting with fresh and zesty deliciousness. You won't regret it.


I'm also 100% sure you could hold off on the cheeses to make it a completely vegan dish.

But I'm a fool for feta. 
I cannot do without it's savory zing in my life.

 


I also can't do without this cutie pie.



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