It. Finally. Happened. Something green poked its head out of the ground; one of my tulip bulbs, to be precise. SPRING IS NEARLY HERE!!!! This winter felt never-ending—we got hit with an ungodly amount of ice over the past four months and I am so relieved not to have to thaw out the chicken waterer every morning, or worry about falling on the steps up to my house, or having my driveway temporarily transformed into a very slanted and very dangerous ice-skating rink. I know it’s just a couple leaves for now, but that means that I’ll be able to start my spring peas outside in a couple weeks, and then my fennel, and then my rhubarb will come back to life again and then tomatoes won’t be too far off and then TOMATOES! And all will be right with the world, (well, at least the part of it contained in my vegetable garden.) To celebrate the beginning of new life, I wanted to make something green, vibrant, and fresh, so I whipped together this light and herbal recipe from my friend Lisette Kreischer’s Ocean Greens cookbook. It was my first time making zucchini spaghetti (I know, I’m very behind the low-carb times), and for some reason I thought it was tricky to get them into perfect little noodle shapes like that, but it’s literally as easy as turning your box grater on its side and grating a zucchini lengthwise over its holes. No tricks or tips to it!

Her cookbook explores the new-to-me culinary world of cooking with various different types of seaweed. Seaweed has an intrinsic savoriness to it from growing and living in salt water, and it also has a great umami flavor that can be similar to the earthiness found in shiitake mushrooms, but with a seafood-y kick to it. I’ve used wakame seaweed before in veggie burger patties to add a nice and savory depth of flavor, but that’s been the extent of my seaweed-based cooking adventures, so I was really excited to try my hand at a seaweed-based pesto. This recipe calls for kombu seaweed, I was able to buy it dried off of amazon and then rehydrated it at home in a bowl of room temperature water for 20 minuted before straining it out. You can also find dried seaweed at your local Asian or organic supermarkets, too! I was amazed at the wonderfully salty and umami flavor that the kombu added to the pesto, it really complemented the brightness of the lemon and fresh basil in the most perfect way, highlighting the freshness of the pesto while giving you a bit of savory satisfaction in each bite. Coating the zucchini spaghetti noodles in the pesto made for the most wonderful salad, and I can’t wait to make it again with fresh zucchinis from my garden this summer. Only a few more months, friends!!!

5 from 3 votes
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Zucchini Spaghetti with Sea Pesto

Servings 4 people
Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

Pesto From the Sea

  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh or rehydrated kombu seaweed
  • 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts
  • 1 small garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 cup fresh basil (including stems)
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for storing)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Zucchini Spaghetti with Sea Pesto

  • 2 baby zucchinis
  • 1 1/2 cup broccoli rabe (rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup Pesto from the Sea
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Instructions

Pesto From the Sea

  1. Thoroughly rinse the kombu with water, making sure all the pickling salt has been washed off. Dab dry and cut into small pieces.

  2. Puree the kombu, nuts, garlic, basil, arugula, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

  3. Put the pesto in a glass jar, cover with a layer of the olive oil, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Always serve with a clean spoon to maintain freshness.

Zucchini Spaghetti with Sea Pesto

  1. Rinse the zucchini and grate them on the large hole setting of a box grater into spaghetti-like strings.

  2. Mix the zucchini strings with the broccoli rabe, olive oil, and lemon juice. Spoon in the pesto, making sure the zucchini is thoroughly coated. Season with the pepper.

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