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I was browsing through a few books in the cookbook section of my local bookstore, when I came across a recipe that substituted zucchini for pasta in a dish. The idea of refreshing zucchini noodles on a hot summer day definitely sounded appealing. When I got home I promptly Googled “zucchini pasta”. There was an article from the NYT from 2008, with a recipe, but for some reason (maybe because it was a hot dish) did not whet my appetite. Then, by miraculous happenstance, one of my favorite blogs posted just what I was looking for! Green Kitchen Stories produced a Mint & Mango Marinated Zucchini. Their pictures are absolutely stunning!!

I decided to put a little spin on their recipe by grounding the “marinade” as a pesto. I incorporated lemon juice, olive oil, mango, and basil.

And used a julienne peeler for the zucchini to create delicate noodle-like strips. Although a regular potato peeler will work as well, you’ll have “noodles” resembling fettuccine, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

I have to say, this was one of the easiest and fastest meals I’ve prepared. It literally took a few minutes to whip up. It took longer to write this post and take pictures! I ended up throwing this concoction into a jar converting it into a lunch on-the-go. It was perfect! The cooling mango/basil mix nicely enveloped the zucchinis, and the almonds provided just the right amount of crunch. I’m always delighted by something that takes so little time to make yet provides lasting enjoyment. The flavors slow you down to stop and savor every strand.

No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.

~Christopher Morley


Zucchini pasta

2 medium zucchinis peeled

Mango Basil pesto

1 medium mango

15 basil leaves

2 tbs olive oil

juice from 1 lemon

handful of almonds

sea salt to taste

(optional: a few pinches of parsley leaves for an extra kick!!)

1. Peel Zucchinis and place in a large bowl.

2. Cut mango and toss into food processor (or blender), along with olive oil, basil, and lemon juice.

3. Mix pesto with zucchini noodles. Chop almonds and sprinkle over dish. Salt to taste. Presto!!

Serves 2 as an entrée, 4 as a side dish.