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Sauteed Zucchini Noodles with Kale Basil Pesto – The Minimalist Pantry
Mains Recipes Savory Sides, Spreads & Stuff

Sauteed Zucchini Noodles with Kale Basil Pesto

As promised, here is a follow up to the first zucchini noodle dish. I had to get creative, as Friday’s ingredients were nearing defeat (defeat [dih-feet], when a person with a guilt complex cannot use up every ounce of her produce in time 1. She felt responsible for the starvation of thousands as she disposed of the wilted greens, admitting defeat.).

I enjoyed the zucchini noodles even more the second time around and found that allowing them to saute briefly in a pot made them irresistible in texture and taste. The recipe below makes enough noodles for two and will leave you with plenty of leftover pesto to freeze or reuse during the week (I had about a cup of pesto leftover).


2 zucchini (stems and bottoms removed)

2 cloves of garlic

8-10 almonds

1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1-2 handfuls of raw kale

3 cubes of frozen basil (or 2 cups of packed fresh basil)

Salt, pepper, olive oil



To make the noodles: use a vegetable peeler to shave off bits of zucchini in long strips, letting them collect into a bowl.

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When the zucchini becomes too difficult to peel, slice in half (crosswise) and continue working with the shorter pieces. Once these become difficult to shave, use a knife to simply slice into long, thin pieces.

Add 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil to a pot and turn on medium heat. Add in 1 clove of garlic (chopped or minced) and allow the garlic to turn golden.

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Keeping medium heat on, add all of the zucchini noodles and stir over heat for 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the pesto: Combine 1 garlic clove, kale*, lemon juice, almonds, and Parmesan in a food processor.

*Working with a mini food processor like me? You may need to add one handful of kale first, then follow up with the second once the ingredients have been blended as instructed below.

Blend for a few seconds to break down the ingredients, then add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Continue blending until mixture is the desired consistency (ingredients seem fully smoothed and combined). Mine looked a bit dry so I added a few teaspoons of warm water and continued blending. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the final step, place the pot of noodles back over heat and toss with 3 large spoonfuls of pesto. You can also combine the pesto and zucchini in a bowl after reheating the noodles for a few minutes. I added a few extra drops of olive oil for the finish and topped with crushed red pepper.

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Food lover and minimalist cook finding harmony in the kitchen.

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