January 26, 2013

Pin It Zucchini Ribbons with Almond Pesto - Cook the Books

Taken From The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
I wanted to squeeze one more savory dish in this month from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook before moving on to the sweets. This one seemed simple, easy and clean. Although zucchini are a summer vegetable I wanted to try this one out now anyway.

My two favorite things about this recipe: 
1. I got to use my food processor.
2. Nothing needed to be cooked.

The zucchini are raw but you would never know it.  When they are peeled so thinly, they are very delicate but still have a little crunch to them.  I found the almond pesto dressing to be a little bland, so I added a bit of extra salt and pepper. Other than that, this was a nice accent to the cilantro chicken I made for dinner. The cilantro chicken was only ok. Probably would be much better if you grill it as directed, but we don't have a grill so I baked it = not as good...but we both agreed the zucchini was really good!

Here are details for the zucchini ribbon salad:

Ingredients
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed (about 4 medium, thin and longer if you can find them)

Directions 
Grind almonds, Parmesan, garlic and red pepper flakes in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add the lemon juice, salt and olive oil and pulse a few times until incorporated. Pour the dressing into a large salad bowl and let it roll up and around the sides.

Peel the zucchini with a vegetable peeler or mandolin and place zucchini ribbons in the dressing-coated bowl. Toss the ribbons gently (your hands work best) attempting to coat the zucchini as evenly as possible. Serve at room temperature. 
Dressing made, zucchini waiting to be transformed into ribbons.
Thin and curly.
Dressed ribbons.
Zuccini ribbons alongside mediocre cilantro chicken.
Now expect the next post to be something sweet and amazing!

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