Pesto Zoodles with Peas & Garlic Dill Yogurt Sauce

It’s been too long since I’ve posted a recipe. I’ve been dying over here! (Strictly figuratively.) If you read my previous post, you’ve surely read about my apartment’s bedbug issues. (The joys of living in Manhattan, truly.) My camera and many of my kitchen gadgets were in quarantine. Well, they are now out of said quarantine, but another problem arose as I went to take some photos of this recipe: My camera was dead and I have no idea where I packed my battery charger.

WOMP WOMP.

My desire to post was much stronger than my desire to look for my charger on a Sunday afternoon, because I was not keen to the idea of rooting through multiple yet – to – be – unpacked contractor bags to find it. I know it’s in there somewhere, but I thought, “Hey. I can take iPhone photos now and re-upload better photos in the future!”

Good attitude, right? 😉

With the true arrival of spring, topped with an 80 degree day this past Saturday, I’m feeling the need for some green. Zucchini, peas, basil, doesn’t matter. Why not just combine them all?

Well…

I have a true passion for my spiral vegetable cutter. Zoodles are the greatest thing since sliced bread, if I may profess a humble opinion. I jumped on the bangwagon last summer with merely a vegetable peeler, and soon, I had a Paderno and Inspiralized was my favorite food blog. As I try to keep my refined carb intake down, zoodles (and other vegetable-based “noodles”) sure provide an excellent and filling alternative for traditional pastas. Have you ever spiral cut a zucchini? All I can say is, “DAMN, son! Where did all of this come from?!” While one technically uses more of the vegetable while it is sliced or diced, the sheer volume created by spiral cutting is rather astounding. One large zucchini can almost always provide enough zoodles for two people, or at least a sizable portion for a second meal the next day.

Zoodles

Pesto Zoodles with Peas & Garlic Dill Yogurt Sauce
(Serves Four)

Ingredients:

– 1 package frozen peas (equates to approximately 9 – 10 oz.; use frozen, not canned!)
– 2 medium-sized zucchinis, unpeeled
– 2 – 3 tablespoons pesto, to taste (store bought is fine, but homemade is always better!)
– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon dried dill
– 1 teaspoon salt, divided (1/2 teaspoon for zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon for yogurt sauce)

Before We Get Started…

– This recipe can be created and served at room temperature, or the zucchini can be sautéed for a minute before serving. I’ve tried both. Honestly, I prefer the room temperature version as the cooked zoodles; even at just a minute in the pan, the zucchini can release a lot of excess liquid. It tends to lend a somewhat unpleasant soupiness to the dish, even if the liquid is strained out. I won’t stop you from sautéing it, but be forewarned!

– Not everyone has a spiral vegetable cutter, but you can still make zoodles! Options include using a regular vegetable peeler to create thicker ribbon-like strips, a julienne peeler which will create longer, zoodle-esque strips, and you can even julienne cut the zucchini yourself if you have the time and patience! Trust me. It’s worth it.

– I strongly suggest using dried dill in the yogurt sauce, as fresh dill, while wonderful, can overpower the pesto.

Yogurt Sauce

Directions:

1.) Wash zucchinis and cut off the ends. Create zoodles from the zucchinis with your preferred / available method. Place zoodles in colander and toss with salt. Set aside in sink to let excess liquid drain.

2.) Cook frozen peas according to directions on package; drain and rinse cooked peas under cool water. Set aside.

3.) In a large bowl, toss zoodles, peas, and pesto until well combined. Set aside.

3a.) If cooking zoodle mixture, add one tablespoon olive oil to large saucepan. Turn heat to medium. Add zoodle mixture and sauté for one minute. Remove from heat and return to bowl.

4.) In small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, and salt. Mix until combined.

5.) Divide zoodle mixture into four serving bowls and top with yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with additional dill, if desired.

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