The Spiralizer changed the way I eat vegetables. I know that’s quite a strong statement, but it’s true.
The inexpensive, easy-to-use kitchen tool opened up a whole other realm of culinary possibility, ushering back creativity and inspiration in my approach towards preparing vegetables that had been waning for some time. The Spiralizer was a birthday gift from my mom this past year.
After using the Spiralizer for the first time, I wondered how I had gone so long without it. This Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Mint Pesto recipe is one of my favorite spiralized recipes.
A Spiralizer transforms whole vegetables into a pile of curly noodles – aka “spirals.” The tool comes with three different blades that result in three kinds of spirals – thick noodles, thin noodles, and flat ribbons. It is quite a sight to behold. And it’s easy. So easy. (And easy to clean, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that).
This simple tool has helped increase my vegetable intake. Instead of pasta, I spiralize zucchini into noodles for both hot dishes and cold salads. (The zucchini noodles also make great filling for wraps and sandwiches). I spiralize sweet potatoes for meatless tacos, cucumbers for lettuce-less salads, and butternut squash for colorful stir fry suppers. I even spiralize broccoli stems instead of throwing them away, adding them to everything from salads to fajitas.
With a Spiralizer, you can have fun with food. It’s like a game – what can I spiralize today that I haven’t before? What dish can I bolster with additional vegetables?
A few days ago, I made a zesty Sicilian Mint Pesto. Unlike its basil counterpart dripping in oil and loaded with pine nuts and cheese, this vegan version chock full of roma tomatoes and fresh mint is much healthier and heartier.
Tossed together with lightly sautéed spiralized zucchini noodles, it’s a light but flavorful supper that’s healthy all around.
I would love to hear from you. What’s your favorite vegetable to spiralize?
Curious about Spiralizing and want to learn more? Check out these resources:
- One of my favorite bloggers dedicates her entire blog, Inspiralized, to spiralizing vegetables. She creates recipes with this tool I never would have dreamed of! Be sure to check out her blog, with such beautiful recipes as these: Roasted Peaches & Beet Noodles, Sesame Ginger and Daikon Noodle Soup, and Spinach & Apple Noodle Salad. She also came out with her own spiralized based cookbook and Spiralizer!
- Several brands make spiralizing tools, including Paderno and Sur La Table. They differ just slightly in design, but contain the same basic elements and blades. I own the tool by the brand Spiralizer, which is on the cheaper end of the price spectrum at $30 (Paderno is $50, Sur La Table is $35). I’ve used it for 8 months, and it still works great.
- 2 large zucchini, spiralized into noodles and trimmed
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5 medium roma tomatoes, deseeded
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
- ½ cup walnut halves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare the pesto, ideally 2 hours in advance of serving, or overnight. Deseed the tomatoes by slicing them in half along the equator. Take one of the halves in your hand and squeeze gently over a bowl so the seeds and gooey "insides" fall into the bowl. Repeat for all tomatoes. Quarter the halves and load into a food processor.
- Add the mint, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and 2 tbsp of olive oil into the food processor. Pulse until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
- Wash and trim the ends of both zucchini. Individually spiralize both zucchini, trimming long noodles, as needed. (If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a julienne peeler).
- In a non-stick skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium. Add the zucchini noodles and toss until warm, about 1 minute.
- Add ¾ of the pesto. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot and zucchini noodles soften. Excess water will have formed once the zucchini cook down and the pesto heats. Pour off any excess liquid before serving.
- Divide into bowls (makes 2 hearty servings, 4 smaller servings). Garnish with additional pesto, as desired.