Simple Vegan Pesto Zoodles
- 5-6 medium zucchini (2 1/4-2 1/2 pounds total), trimmed
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- ⅓ cup unsalted cashews
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Using a spiral vegetable slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strands or strips. If using a vegetable slicer, stop when you reach the seeds in the middle (seeds make the noodles fall apart). Place the zucchini "noodles" in a colander and toss with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let drain for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently squeeze to remove excess water.
Meanwhile, combine basil, garlic, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed. With the motor running, add 1/4 cup oil and continue to process until well combined. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the drained zucchini noodles and gently toss until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the pesto and tomatoes. Toss gently to combine.
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