Zucchini Pesto Recipe

Zucchini Pesto with lemon zest and basil oil. A pesto recipe with all the flavors perfectly balanced, it just screams all things summer. I recently took a trip out to California to visit my friends and Grace, one of the girls I grew up with, her boyfriend Michael, Jeff and I went to this great little winery just outside of Santa Barbara called Demitria Winery. What a picturesque location and the wine was really fabulous. They have a guitarist playing every weekend and believe they are not shy with the pours. Get a tasting menu and go for the afternoon. You can even stay the night as a guest. We had a great time!

I found this recipe during that trip. Jeff loves road trips and we are always discovering these amazing little places, people and of course unique and delicious food recipes. Food just brings people together and I think the passion that foodies share comes from the way it makes people happy.

Trip to Ojai

I know a great pesto pasta recipe to add to my pesto recipes collection always makes me happy.

So as we are sitting there amongst the bushes of rosemary and the aroma of nature filling the air, drinking amazing wine, laughing and talking, we had this zucchini pesto served with homemade trofie pasta. Pronounced trofeee-eehhh.

Zucchini Pesto Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Trofie pasta (I haven’t built this page yet)
  • 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Green outer skin only
  • ¼ cup of basil olive oil (recipe to follow)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Salt

Basil Olive Oil Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of good quality olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped, fresh basil leaves

Cooking Instructions:

trofie pasta Basil and Olive Oil in Pan

I haven’t built my “how to make trofie pasta page yet but I will soon, I promise. Above is my homemade trofie pasta which you can make or buy.

Pour the olive oil into a sauce pan and add the freshly chopped basil. Turn on the heat and allow the olive oil to bubble slightly at the edges of the pot. This is when you remove the olive oil from the heat. Don't allow to the oil to get too hot because olive oil is not a high heat oil and it will burn.

Let it cool.

Once the basil olive oil has cooled you can strain it through a stainer into a bowl or measuring cup.

straining the basil olive oil Pressing Basil and Olive Oil

Press the basil leaves to get every drop of the delicious basil olive oil and discard the leaves. Now you can store in a jar. I used an old salad dressing mixing bottle but any glass container is fine.

basil olive oil in jar Zucchini Pesto Ingredients

I used a cheese grater to shred the zucchini into fine sherds. A parmigiano cheese grater is perfect. Only shred the first layer of the zucchini so you only get a little bit of the white meat of the zucchini but most of the shredded zucchini is the green outer layer. The white meat of the zucchini holds more water and will make the zucchini pesto mushy.

Then zest your lemon and chop your garlic finely. Pour the basil olive oil in the pan and begin to heat the pan on medium heat.

basil olive oil in pan Zucchini Pesto Sauteed in Pan

When the basil olive oil is hot enough add the shredded zucchini first along with the finely chopped garlic. Allow to cook for about one minute. Then add the trofie pasta, which by the way I made fresh!!!

Zucchini Pesto Sauteed in Pan Zucchini Pesto Sauteed in Pan

Remove the pan from the heat and then add the lemon zest directly to the pan. Mix the zucchini pesto together well and feel free to drizzle some more basil flavored olive oil onto the pasta before or after serving. Don't forget your glass of crisp white wine and…

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
To Live, To Love, To Laugh and To Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

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