I made this bell pepper pesto sauce out of necessity. With dutiful pruning of my basil plant, pinching off blossoms, and adding some fresh cuttings back into the pot that I propagated from clippings, I have an over-abundance of basil… again. What’s a girl to do, but to make more pesto? I also gave some away! =D
I invited one of my friends from work over for lunch on Memorial Day. I originally purchased the bell peppers fully intent on experimenting with a raw version of a romesco sauce, but then the basil explosion happened. The raw romesco sauce experiment is still on my to-do list though, I promise. I think I will wait until the peppers in my porch jungle are ready though. I would love to be able to make it with the main ingredient being something I grew myself. Growing my own food brings me such satisfaction!
So, having both peppers and basil, I decided to combine them into a tasty sauce. I used a little flax seed oil to give it nutty flavor without actually introducing nuts, which I am trying to limit in order to keep my fat and omega 6 intake lower. I used a little nutritional yeast to give it a slightly cheesy flavor, and I used half an avocado to give it a slightly creamy texture. Spread into 2 or 3 portions, it is really not much avocado per person. The rest of the ingredients were just seasoning and texture. Of course, by now, my regular readers know that I like to add fermented foods to my recipes whenever possible, so this one got some fermented garlic and raw ACV added as well. You are welcome to use powdered garlic instead if you don’t happen to have any fermented garlic laying around though. 😉
Anyway, my lovely friend Divya gave the recipe two thumbs up. After the main course, I served some fresh chopped fruit with a sauce of lemon, local raw honey, cinnamon, and ginger for dessert. I also washed my meal down with a rather large glass of home brewed probiotic-filled jun!
- 3 zucchinis
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 cups packed basil
- 2 TB flax seed oil
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 TB nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 TB ACV
- 2 tsp garlic (or a couple cloves of fermented garlic - rich mellow flavor)
- 1/4 cup water
- Fresh ripe tomatoes
- Sprouts of your choice
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sprig of basil
- Spiral cut (or julienne cut) the zucchini into noodles. Sprinkle with salt and mix in with your hands. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes (when they are soft and "noodle-y" in texture) and then rinse the salt off the noodles using a large strainer or colander. This is enough time to blend the sauce and get everything else set up.
- Add all of the sauce ingredients to the blender until they are well-incorporated.
- Chop up the tomatoes for the dish.
- If your noodles are done, stack them up on a plate.
- Pour the sauce on top of the noodles.
- Add the tomatoes, sprouts, and pumpkin seeds. Top with a few basil leaves, if desired.
- If you are opposed to nutritional yeast in raw food recipes, you may omit it. It lends a subtlety cheesy flavor if you are sharing the dish with non-raw friends or non-vegans.
- It is best to eat the sauce fresh. I found that it did not keep well the second day. The addition of avocado caused the top layer to brown and the flavor was not as fresh.
- If this is your main dish, serve it as 2 portions with a large and visually impressive stack of noodles. If you have side dishes, break it up into 3 portions.
- The addition of juicy ripe tomatoes really adds an extra depth of flavor to the dish. I recommend that you add plenty of them. Mine were fresh from the garden! 🙂