Zucchini Noodles With Herb Pesto

Making zucchini lovable again



Flowers are more than dressing for your garden. Chef Liz Barbour of Hollis has recently released a new cookbook featuring creative culinary uses for edible flowers, fresh herbs and garden vegetables. “Beautifully Delicious: Cooking with Herbs & Edible Flowers” features more than 60 delightful recipes that are as visually appealing as they are clever, but not difficult to master.  

As an avid gardener, Barbour offers tips for harvesting, storing and using flowers in baking, cooking and garnishing. The frosting on the cake is several recipes for adding flower power to drinks, both potent or not, that create an additional layer of flavor and a large dollop of eye appeal.

The author teaches culinary arts as Liz Barbour’s Creative Feast, with everything from basic knife skills to seasonal recipes to delicious desserts. Locally, she can be seen in the Hampton School District, June 20, 8 a.m.; Amherst Library, June 21, 6:30 p.m.; and  Canterbury Shaker Village, June 28, 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required, and can be made directly through the various venues. She has also scheduled an open garden tour and book signing at her lovely purple 1774 cape in Hollis on June 24, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Photo by Celeste Guidice

Zucchini Noodles With Herb Pesto

1 1/2 lbs. zucchini
   (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf       
  parsley, stems removed
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped mint
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
Pepper, freshly ground
Optional: 1/3 cup pine nuts, slivered almonds or sunflower seeds

Using a spiralizer, make noodles out of the zucchini and set aside.

Place the oil and mayonnaise into a food processor. Add the spinach, parsley, rosemary, mint, garlic and Parmesan cheese (and nuts, if using). Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss 3/4 cup of pesto with the noodles, adding more to taste.

If you would like to serve this dish hot, don’t cook it on the stovetop. Zucchini can get soggy if heated too long. Chef Barbour heats the pesto-dressed zucchini in the microwave until warmed through, about 3 minutes for the al dente texture. Leftover pesto can be refrigerated up to five days or frozen for later use.

Barbour suggests using the pesto to elevate the flavors of chicken, sirloin, pork and seafood. Or spread it on sandwiches or as a side to scrambled eggs. In the book she describes how the above recipe can be made into zucchini herb pancakes with the addition of an egg and breadcrumbs.

P.S. Zucchini blossoms are the perfect garnish.

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