Ingredients

  • 2 cups zucchini (courgette), grated
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 4 tablespoons of pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Author of this recipe

Emile

Amateur cook

Read more

Zucchini is a prolific late summer vegetable.

Summer days get shorter and crisper drawers get smaller; overflowing with harvest gifted from friends who've had than their fill.
Pesto is a great way to use up a couple of zucchinis - blending into a versatile condiment. You will need a stick blender or food processor to get the right texture.

This recipe might surprise you! It tastes like straight-up basil pesto and fussy eaters won't even know it's packed with extra veg. The spinach adds both extra nutrients and vibrant green to counteract the pale zucchini flesh. 

Total votes: 31

Preparation

  1. Grate zucchini using a box grater or food processor.
  2. Remove as much water from the zucchini as you can.
    I wrap mine in a clean tea towel or kitchen cloth and squeeze it over the sink.
  3. Dry toast pine nuts in a pan over medium heat. Watch them carefully! Shake the pan as it warms and remove from the heat as soon as they're fragrant and ever so slightly browned; it will only take 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. In your blending bowl, add the zucchini and all other ingredients, except the olive oil. Using a food processor or stick blender, blend to a rich paste.
  5. Once all the ingredients are blended, add the olive oil – one tiny drizzle at a time until you have the right texture. You might not need all the oil.

Tips from the author

The ingredient amounts are flexible- adjust to your taste.  Follow your heart when adding basil, cheese, and garlic!

Storage:

If you’re not eating straight away, spoon your pesto into a jar, and top with a thin layer of olive oil before sealing. This will slow oxidisation. Your pesto will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Serving:

For a super quick meal, I enjoy mine stirred into pasta with some roast cherry tomatoes.  It’s so versatile! You can:

  • add to boiled potatoes as a side
  • Use as a flavourful salad dressing
  • stir into gnocchi
  • Spread on a sandwich
  • Spread On a pizza base
  • Serve as a dip with crackers or crudités  
  • Dollop on grilled chicken or pumpkin
  • Top a fried egg

Encouraging kids to eat more vegetables

Encouraging kids to eat more vegetables

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