Tuesday, July 03, 2012


Ok girls, let's play Hide The Zucchini!

Yes, I have some zucchini today. Again, and while I am thankful that I can harvest these beauties, I am running low on recipes that use them.
My basil is ready to harvest again and one can never have too much pesto, so I thought, What if? (a dangerous thought...) What if I included zucchini in the mix?
I went online to see if anyone had a recipe and found lots of pesto-zucchini combinations, but they all wanted the zucchini cooked. Nope, not what I had in mind. So I called my sister to run the idea through her brain and she agreed I ought to try my version.
Here it is...and spoiler alert, It WORKED!

One of my zucchinis was larger than the rest, weighing in at 16 ounces, so I decided to shred it first. It was all I needed.
Thank heaven for Cuisinart's shredding disc. Less than 4 seconds later, I had this lovely perfectly shredded pile. I salted it and left it to drain in the sink.

Next, outside in the blistering heat to collect basil. I overplanted, and still feel like I might run out. May I just say that of all the varieties, the very best is Lettuce Leaf. Huge soft tasty leaves. Even the bugs love them! O, that might not be a recommendation. O well.
I also planted opal and purple basil, thinking they would be pretty. Not.
If I were going for pretty I would get Purple Ruffles Basil instead.

Here are my basil tops, which I cut right above two leaves that had baby sprouted leaves at their axils. They will grow back into branches to harvest later. So dependable, even in the heat. Mediterranean doncha know.

Back inside, I notice that my shreds  had decreased in size, and a pool of zucchini juice was evident below.
I squeezed out more juice with my tongs, very sanitary and unmessy.

My pesto recipe, which I seem to blog every year, goes like this.

Big cloves of garlic. I like to use at least three. I whirl them first in the processor, and then add the walnuts. Lots of walnuts, not pine nuts, which in my neck of the woods, just can't be found and if they are available, are usually stale and expensive. So why bother? Walnuts taste just as good. Then I layer in the basil, and top that with today's experiment zucchini. Pack it all down, and cover and process, pouring in the olive oil until you get the right consistency. I didn't use all of the zucchini, only 3/4 of what I shredded. It looked like the right amount. You be the judge.

 After all the other ingredients are mixed, then and only then do I add the parmeggiano. A few bursts of speed and the cheese is incorporated and still retains its texture. Taste for seasoning, adding a touch of salt if necessary.

The finished dish, including some ripe grape and cherry tomatoes from the garden. The taste was excellent, and not mentioning to Dave that there was zucchini in the mix was a smart decision. One couldn't tell anyway,  it really tasted just the same as usual. That much garlic and basil will disguise almost anything. And as a bonus, the zucchini seemed to keep the basil from darkening as much. Nice.
We finally have emerged from the heat wave, with a good rain at about 4pm. This morning, I won't have to water! Yay! And the forecast is for rain for the next four days, but low percentages. I think the weather guys at Google Weather are just practicing wishful thinking.

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  1. Looks yummy.

    My most favorite zuchinni reciepy is for a Chocolate Cake! You don't even notice the zuchinni in it....deliscious.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial! I'll have to try the pesto with zuc... Sure looks great! Happy 4th!

  3. LynneP11:07 AM

    I have made pesto with basil and spinach....now I will have to try basil and zucchini! Thanks for another great idea.

  4. Ann Lilley11:32 AM

    Wish I had your basil. Have you tried grilling zucchini? Slice on diagonal with yellow squash, peppers onions. Pour on some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix in some crushed or grated garlic and italian herbs. Mix well to coat and cook on grill. Helps to use a slotted pan on grill so pieces don't fall thru. Yummy. Does shrink down so make alot.

  5. What a delicious looking idea for the zucchini! There's only so much muffins or bread one can make. I will have to try it when the zuchinis are ready here.

  6. Anonymous11:42 AM

    Fantastic idea! Yum,yum!


  7. Sounds delish! Did I ever give you my recipe for zucchini souffle? If not, let me know if you would like to try it... old family recipe that I love! Meanwhile, I may just have to try your pesto recipe!

  8. Wow! I am making this when my zuchinni is ready.

  9. I found this board on pinterest for zucchini lovers!


  10. You were on a roll this post with all sorts of cute jokes, they were chuckles, right?

    Interesting on the zucchini, might give it a try... anything to use a zuk or two.

    Trust me, you could not have over planted basil....

  11. I'm definitely going to try this - looks very yummy.

  12. I am a zucchini hater from way back. Growing up my mom would slice the jumbo ones up and nuke the hell out of it, blech. I have avoided it at all costs ever since....but I love this recipe, I have made it twice now and my family gobbles it up. My 3 year old had a pesto sandwich last night and ate every bit. Thanks so much for sharing.


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