This week we decided to feature parsley! Parsley is an important ingredient in our zucchini pesto pasta dish. The plant is a species of Petroselinum in the Apiaceae family and a native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe. It is widely cultivated as a herb, spice, and vegetable.
The name is derived from two greek words, petrose meaning rock and selenium which is an ancient name for celery. It is used widely in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking.
Parsley has a fresh vibrant taste and is highly nutritious! It is an excellent source of volatile oils and flavonoids as well as folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A. The volatile oil components found in parsley are unique and have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies. The flavonoids help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells.
The most popular types of parsley are curly and Italian flat leaf. The Italian variety is popular because it is fragrant and less bitter than the curly. When shopping, look for parsley that is deep green in color and try to select organically grown when possible to assure that the herbs have not been irradiated. Fresh parsley will last 2-7 days in the refrigerator.
Zucchini pesto pasta seems to have grown in popularity and for good reason! It’s low carb, gluten-free, and a great way to enjoy zucchini which I find to be a little bland tasting on its own.
- 4 medium zucchini
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 TBS thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup walnuts or pine nuts
- 2 cups chopped parsley
- ½ cup fresh basil, stems removed
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 TBS olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut your zucchinis length wise and use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to peel into long wide ribbons
- Toss zucchini "noodles" in a bowl with salt and set aside in a colander to drain excess liquid
- Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a skillet
- Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until golden brown
- Add the zucchini "noodles" and saute over medium heat for another 4-5 minutes
- Remove from heat and move ingredients to a mixing bowl
- Add lemon, thyme, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly
- For your pesto, toast nuts on a baking tray in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes
- Let cool to room temperature
- Combine nuts, parsley, basil, cheese, and a dash of salt in a food processor
- Pulse for a few seconds then add 2 TBS olive oil while the machine is running until it is completely mixed in (20-30 seconds)
- Combine the pesto and zucchini noodles until the noodles are well coated
Zucchini pesto pasta is healthy, nutritious, flavorful, and gluten free!
Description: Zucchini Pesto Pasta