Zucchini Pesto : Simple recipe to use up bumper crop zucchini
So I think I have mentioned this before….. we have a boat load of zucchini in our backyard garden. We have been eating zucchini almost every night, we’ve been sharing with friends and family and we still have more coming. Our goal with our garden was to cut down our food budget but also to reduce our carbon footprint. We did this at a community garden for a couple years but we were only mildly successful. Here at home where we can tend to our plot every day it is kinda going nuts. Our kids have actually asked if they can have a ‘farmers market’ stand (instead of a lemonade stand) – stay tuned because that might just happen and if it does we will surely blog about it.
All this zucchini is a huge blessing, even just a couple zucchini pays for the little bag of seeds and water we use; so at this point it is just free food. The problem is that our kids are a tiny bit over zucchini. They enjoy zucchini, they enjoy most vegetables, but even their favorite zucchini boats are not getting me any enthusiasm. We have given some away, we have frozen some, and one of my favorite things is to disguise it. We’ve made banana and zucchini bread, I have made brownies with zucchini sneaky chefed in, and while I may blog about those later I really wanted to share my very favorite zucchini disguise.
We love pesto; we shared a vitamix 10 second pesto recipe over at San Diego Deals and Steals years ago that still gets a good amount of traffic. I didn’t make up the recipe, just shared Vitamix’s recipe and seriously you guys, it is so good! My husband and I could eat pesto all day long, seriously, I could eat it with a spoon….. I know I shouldn’t, but I love it so much. The kids find the basil to be a bit strong and actually aren’t huge fans of basil pesto so I don’t make it often. It occurred to me that mixing the basil and mild zucchini would make a much lighter and milder pesto sauce that might fit the kid’s tastes a little better. So I have tried a couple different recipes and this ratio is what works best for our family. We still use our trusty Vitamix (so worth the investment you guys!) but my guess is you could use any quality food processor with these ingredients.
If you are looking for a fun twist on pesto or looking for something a little different to do with all that zucchini that is busting out of your garden check this out!
Easy Zucchini and Basil Pesto
- 1 medium zucchini – top & bottom lopped off and take the seeds out. I hate to even waste the seeds but it will make the pesto watery so make sure to scoop them out.
- About one cup loosely packed basil
- 1/4 cup of almonds (almonds are much less expensive than pine nuts – but I think just as tasty)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 clove garlic (or if you have jarred crushed garlic about 1/2 a tablespoon) – add in more garlic if you really like garlic but it gets very strong very fast
All of these ingredients can be modified a bit to your liking – simple easy peasy recipe!
- Cut and seed zucchini – just rough chop, pop in the Vitamix
- Plop all other ingredients into the Vitamix
- Start on “Low” and move up to 10 quickly and then flip to “High” – blending takes me about 15 – 20 seconds total.
- The. End.
The end result is a much milder pesto than the traditional basil variety. I feel like it is lighter and almost creamier than traditional pesto. Our recipe is a really thick pesto, it is great for spreading on sandwiches. If you like a thinner pesto simply add more olive oil. Mix with pasta, spread on bread instead of mayo or mustard, over chicken, seriously whatever you like!
On the night we took these pictures we topped bar-b-qued chicken and quinoa with our pesto and enjoyed a tomato salad on the side. I’m not gonna lie you guys, we felt a little fancy. The boy said “It’s like we are at restaurant Mommy!” #Winning
If you are like us and have lots of zucchini to use up keep it here for more ideas because I am pretty sure zucchini is gonna be on the menu for quite some time! Make sure to follow our Zucchini Pinterest Board too! Try this yummy pesto and let me know in the comment section how you like it! Do you have a fun idea for using zucchini? I’d love for you to leave that here too!