Friday, 2 August 2013

Courgette 'noodles' with cashew and herb pesto

Oodles of noodles
Along with the courgettes in the veg box this week came a recipe for Courgette Tagliatelle with Almond Pesto and Rocket.

Obviously I didnt have the ingredients to follow the recipe.  So I made this instead.

SUPER-tasty!  Mr Duncan loved it.

If you've never made pesto before it is really easy to learn.  At its most simple it is just equal volume of nuts and herbs ground together with a bit of olive oil, but you can make any number of tasty variations.

I like to soak my nuts not only because it offers health benefits - but also because it makes them moist and therefore easier to mash up and requiring less oil in the pesto.

You dont need a food processor.  I dont have one as I actually enjoy the effort involved in chopping and slicing and mixing.  If I'm only making a small amount of pesto, I just use my mortar and pestle, but my hand blender works for a larger amount after I have bashed about the nuts with a knife or rolling pin first.

For the pesto
  • Cashew nuts (I used about half a cup)
  • Fresh herbs (I used about half a cup of basil and parsley mixed together)
  • Clove garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil 
For the salad

  • Brown rice noodles (I thought they were soba noodles until I read the packet after I'd cooked them)
  • Large straight courgette
  • Lemon zest
  • Lettuce
  • Sun-dried tomatoes

Cover the cashew nuts with water and allow to soak.

Boil the noodles according to packet instructions.  Rinse with cold water and drain.  Toss in a bit of olive oil to stop them from sticking together.

Slice the courgette thinly down its length, then cut each slice into thin ribbons, to approximate the shape of your noodles.  Toss the courgette and noodles together and set aside.

Rinse and drain the cashew nuts and blend together all the pesto ingredients to a creamy consistency.  Taste and add more lemon/olive oil/water until you reach the desired taste and consistency.

Toss the noodles and courgette in a few generous sized spoon-fulls of pesto until well covered.  Sprinkle with lemon zest.

I served this on a bed of torn lettuce and garnished with chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

I also had about a quarter of a cup of pesto left over, so I mixed some finely grated parmesan cheese and black pepper into it and plan to eat it on crusty bread with fresh tomatoes for brunch on Saturday.

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