It has been hot in London lately and firing up anything is not an option I wish to contemplate. But still, it doesn’t mean one must sacrifice taste.
The Italian word pesto has a number of meanings, but in the culinary sense, it means to reduce chopped ingredients into a poultice. The ingredients per se don’t matter, but what does is the process and the result.
Here is a quick, tasty, filling, nutritious and raw recipe using courgette (aka zucchini). Serves 4 as a main (recipe after the photo).
For the dressing
- 1 avocado
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons Spike (I like Original, and if you can’t find this super useful seasoning, make a mixture of your own favourite dry spices and add a pinch of salt)
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons maca powder or linseed meal/whole or mixed seaweed sprinkles (all optional, of course) or alternatively, 1 Tablespoon of seeds of your choice (sesame/pumpkin/sunflower/pine nuts)
- a glug or two of olive oil
For the courgette noodles
- 4 courgette, julienne/mandolin/or grated on the largest round grating surface of your grater to create the “noodles”
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 150g cherry tomatoes, halved)
- fresh basil leaves, optional
In a large bowl, mix the courgette, onion and tomatoes (and a few fresh basil leaves if you have them). Set aside and make the dressing.
In a separate and deep bowl, juice the lemon and remove the seeds. Scoop out the avocado and place in the bowl with the lemon. Mash the avocado (using a fork or potato masher) and mix well with the lemon. Add the Spike (or other spices), the nutritional yeast, maca or your chosen alternate powder or seeds and the olive oil. Start slowly with the olive oil so you don’t make the mixture too liquidy and too greasy. Mix all the ingredients well, then with a fork or small whisk, whip up the mixture so it becomes light green and slightly airy. If need be, add more olive oil.
Add the dressing to the courgette, mix well and serve. The “noodles” keep well refrigerated, although the maceration with the lemon will draw out some of the water from the courgette. If that happens, just mix it all in and it will be fine.