This no-cook Pesto Zucchini Noodle Salad is the perfect way to use up summer garden vegetables. It’s an easy summer salad that’s ready in 10 minutes!
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It’s August 1 and that may mean that the summer is starting to wind down. But if you have a garden or visit a farmers market, you know the zucchini and tomatoes show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Well. This salad will help you use up those summer garden vegetables!Use up your summer garden vegetables with this 10 minute, no-cook Pesto Zucchini Noodle Salad! #summereats #zucchinirecipes
Make zucchini noodles without a spiralizer
If you don’t have a spiralizer, no problem. You probably have a vegetable peeler somewhere in the depths of your kitchen drawers. Even better, said vegetable peeler may have the option to julienne. That’s what I used to create these thin noodles which I much prefer for a raw salad.
Make the easiest pesto
To make the easy pesto, you’ll blend equal parts fresh basil and spinach, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lots of fresh garlic, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil and Parmesan will impact the flavor of the salad in a major way. Go with the best-tasting ones you can afford.
Once the pesto is done, you’ll just need to toss it with the zucchini and tomatoes. Now, you could stop right here and the salad will be delicious. But I like to add in shaved Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts for extra crunch and flavor.
How to avoid watery zucchini noodles
TIP: To make this recipe ahead of time, store the basil pesto separate from the spiralized zucchini noodles. Both the pesto and the zucchini noodles can last up to a week when properly sealed and refrigerated. Toss them together just before serving. If you skip this advice, after about an hour, you’ll come back to zucchini swimming in pesto water. You can drain it. It will be OK but not ideal.
Pesto Zucchini Noodle Salad
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, packed
- ¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish
- 4 cloves fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ⅛ tsp cracked black pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- Prep the zucchini: Spiralize the zucchini using the thinnest setting or use a vegetable peeler (see video and notes below). Set aside in a colander.
- Make the pesto: In a high power blender, add the spinach, basil, nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan, and olive oil and blend until smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss the pesto with the zucchini noodles and tomatoes until combined. Add extra Parmesan cheese and/or cooked shrimp to make it a full meal.