4-5 small to medium zucchini, ends trimmed
Tomato Broth – optional
2 large ripe tomatoes
1¼ cups of broccolini florets, broken up into small pieces
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of fresh basil, torn
handful of fresh parsley, torn
handful of fresh rocket or baby spinach
Bail and Rocket Pesto
1 clove of garlic, chopped
3 good handfuls of fresh rocket and basil, leaves picked and chopped (or use parsley instead)
½ cup of pine nuts
extra virgin olive oil
nutritional yeast or Parmesan, optional
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, very finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
5 tablespoons lemon juice
½ clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
¼ preserved lemon, crushed and finely chopped (if you don’t have preserved lemon, use lemon zest and a few pinches of salt)
Pasta: Start by spiralising the zucchini to make zucchini noodles. To do this, you will need a vegetable slicer that can cut food into spirals. (We use the Japanese benriner horizontal slicer.) If you don't have a vegetable spiraliser, use a peeler to cut the courgette into wide strips then julienne with a knife. Set aside.
Tomato broth: Roughly chop the tomatoes and place in a blender with salt until pureed. Strain through a sieve with the back of a spoon.
Vegetables: Lightly season the broccolini with salt, pepper and olive oil and dehydrate at 460C for 3-4 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator, very lightly blanch the broccolini in boiling water. Set aside.
Pesto: Pound the garlic with a little pinch of salt and the rocket and parsley leaves in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a food processor. Add the pine nuts to the mixture and pound or pulse again. Turn out into a bowl and slowly add olive oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and to reach an oozy consistency.
Season to taste, pour in some more oil if needed and add a bit of nutritional yeast or Parmesan if desired. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice for a little zing if desired.
Dressing: Place all of the ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined. Or blend in a high-speed blender until well combined.
To assemble: Mix ½ cup of pesto with the dressing, adding a few tablespoons of the tomato broth to make it more fluid. If you haven’t made the tomato broth just add a little water.
In a bowl, coat the zucchini pasta with the dressing and pesto mix. It should be reasonably easy to coat and not form clumps but if it does, add a little more tomato broth or water to get things moving.
Gently fold through the herbs and vegetables.
Divide the pasta between 4 plates and top each with 2 tablespoons of tomato broth, pine nuts, pepper, and micro greens, and a drizzle of olive or basil oil if you have it. Serves 4
For more about Little Bird Unbakery visit www.littlebirdorganics.co.nz