roasted zucchini pulverized with fresh green onion, parsley, garlic, parmesan and black pepper drizzled with olive oil and lemon.
Green zucchini is important here since we’re making green pesto, the whites of the zucchini take on the bold green of its flesh and with the bonus of green onion and parsley, Using a yellow zucchini will result in little flakes of yellow, both can also be utilized since the take on any flavor added to them. Just peel the yellow zucchini to keep up the green vibrant look.
Flat Leaf Parsley
Green flat leaf parsley is the ideal parsley for pesto since is a nice tender herb that breaks down nicely. Curly parsley can make for a grittier pesto. Parsley adds peppery freshness that pairs well with a fruit olive oil. Add the parsley towards the end to keep it fresh and vibrant.
Green Onions & Garlic
Green onions keeps to the green color while adding a ton of flavor and not a lot of moisture. Green onions are excellent consumed raw since they are such a mild onion. Garlic adds a lot of boldness to the pesto and helps bring raw heat. Garlic should be used sparingly since it can take over the pesto. If you find your pesto is a little too garlicky let the pesto sit refrigerated so that the flavor has time to tame itself down.
Good olive oil is important to good pesto, so use the best you can spare on hand. Olive oil adds fluidly to the broken down herbs and veg. It also coats your entire pallette and it’s the vehicle that the herbs leach into that draws out all the added flavor. A sweeter Greek olive works great with the sharp garlic, green onions and pepper flakes
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST Zucchini Pesto
handling the zucchini
when handling the zucchini i prefer to quickly roast the zucchini in a little bit of salt. zucchini is made up mostly in water, when the zucchini starts to cook or break down it releases that water. where the water is released is important because it can be the difference between a stable and unstable pesto.
raw zucchini added to the pesto will result in a watery separated pesto. once the salt is added to the pesto and the pesto has time to sit and extract the moisture from the zucchini the water will surface and separate from the oil. to avoid the zucchini separating you need to roast the zucchini with salt so that the water surfaces and evaporates in the oven.
zucchini helps out in two ways for this dish. is add volume to the pesto so it’s more filling and satisfying and it adds depth and color. since the zucchini adds an extra layer green keep the skin intact when handling the zucchini no need to even peel it!
building the pesto
when adding vegetables other than fresh leafy herbs to a pesto you need to give them time to break down. start off by breaking down the vegetables on low to medium high, making the base more fluid before adding in the parsley along with the lemon juice. adding the parsley last keep the herb from being overly pulverized resulting in a tinted brown pesto. adding the lemon juice towards the end also keeps the pesto vibrantly green.
you can serve the pesto immediately after making it. toss it with your favorite pasta, salad dressing or sandwich spread. stir the pesto before each use just to make sure any of the small remaining residual water redistributes back into the sauce. when storing the pesto, store it in an air tight container, refrigerated for up to a week.
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