Today, I offer you a wonderful raw noodle dish. No, that’s not a typo; I did just say “raw noodle”. Raw noodles are most often made from raw green or yellow zucchini. But really, you can make them from any vegetable which can be shaved, julienne or ‘spiraled’…
And there’s that word again….SPIRAL. Vegetable spiral contraptions are a wonderful tool that will completely revolutionize the way you enjoy vegetables. This simple little tool allows you to make ‘noodles’ up to 6 feet long (if you so desire) out of zucchini, carrots, large radishes and other suitable veggies. It also assists you in making wonderfully thin shaved onions, carrots, cucumbers, and much much more. (were you expecting me to say “but wait! there’s more!)?
This dish is Chocked full of raw veggies, including red peppers, shiitake mushrooms and my favorite: shaved and julienned asparagus. Note: When possible, it is always best to buy organic when preparing raw food dishes. It is also important to wash the veggies well with a good vegetable wash before preparing.
Asian Inspired Zoodles w/ Cilantro Pesto
For the Sauce:
6 tablespoons raw tahini
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups packed cilantro
1/2 cup packed basil
1 very small garlic clove
Juice of half a lemon (or more to taste)
Coarse sea salt and cracked pepper
This will make a thick pesto. You can add filtered water by the tablespoonful, to get desired consistency for a sauce.
For the veggies:
About 6 medium sized zucchini, skin shaved off with a vegetable peeler (for the pasta)
About 1 pound asparagus, very thinly sliced or shaved
1 large red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup green onion chopped
1/4 cup packed cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1. In a food processor, combine the tahini, walnuts, cilantro, basil, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Add water as needed or desired. Pulse till well combined. *[If you want a thicker ‘pesto’ just add less of the water and pulse the mixture till desired consistency. For a sauce, which I find blends better into the ‘pasta’, use more of the water.]
2. Once the mixture has reached the desired consistency, add the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. The sauce may thicken if chilled. Add a little warm water to bring to room temp and thin it some before serving.
3. Prepare the pasta according to the directions on your ‘Spiral Slicer’. Or you can ‘julliane’ them with a mandoline. Another option is to just very thinly slice the zucchini into long strips. Set aside in a large bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, toss the rest of the thinly sliced vegetables together.
5. JUST before serving, carefully toss the noodles with the pesto Be careful not to break the noodles. Then fill each bowl of noodles with a handful of veggies.
6. Finally garnish with the crushed walnuts, cilantro and chopped green onions. Season with coarse sea salt and cracked pepper.
Serve immediately. (The longer the zucchini pasta has sauce on it, the quicker it breaks down and becomes watery, as the salt pulls the water out of it.)