Do you ever start cooking with a clear idea in mind, only to change pretty much everything before you’re done? That’s what happened with these zoodles (courgetti). The plan was a simple salad with fresh herb dressing, but I kept finding other things I wanted to include, like avocado, and olives. In the end, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I did eat the lot, so that should tell you something about how yummy it was!
You may have noticed that I’ve been making lots of salads and cold dishes recently. The oven has barely been used in the last 6 weeks, and apart from the occasional toasted sandwich or quick stir-fry, salads have become a mainstay of our family meals now that it’s summer. I’m really enjoying the different flavours and textures that are highlighted when we eat our vegetables raw, rather than cooked.
For instance, these spiralised courgette noodles (zucchini noodle = ‘zoodle’) have a slight crunch and a bitter-sweet flavour, both of which are quite different to the experience of eating cooked courgettes.
Don’t get me wrong – I love cooked courgettes too! But it’s good to know that they’re also delicious raw. Plus, of course you get the extra nutritional benefits as none of the vitamins and essential phytonutrients are destroyed during the cooking – it’s a win win!
Spiralisng the courgettes (zucchini) works really well in this salad as it looks beautiful and provides plenty of surface area for the yummy avocado dressing to cling to. If you don’t have a spiraliser, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on one, I would recommend getting something like this which is small and inexpensive and does a perfectly good job on courgettes, carrots, etc. Of course if you expect to spiralise a lot, and also want to be able to tackle potatoes, beets, various fruits etc. then you probably ought to go for the larger and more complicated variety. This is the spiraliser I have and I love it! It’s sturdy, quick to use, and surprisingly simple to clean. I made a spiral vegetable salad for 60 people for Rosh Hashanah a couple of years ago, and it took only a few minutes to make an enormous mountain of carrot and beetroot noodles! But back to the courgettes… if you want to make this salad without spiralising anything, you can just grate the courgettes, or slice very thinly with a vegetable peeler or julienne cutter. It will still be delicious 😀
So, back to the courgetti salad! The avocado pesto dressing is delicious and whizzes up in a few seconds using a mini-chopper/hand blender. Of course, you could probably just mash the avocado and whisk it together with the other ingredients. Finally the olives and tomatoes just make it extra summery, as well as more colourful. Lovely.
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Zoodle salad with avocado pesto & baby tomatoes
A fresh and delicious summer salad with a creamy avocado dressing.
- 2 medium courgettes (zucchini)
- 1/2 an avocado
- 2 tbsp basil pesto
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 100 g baby plum tomatoes
- 25 g green olives
- Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Cut the ends off the courgettes (zucchini) and spiralise into medium thickness 'zoodles'. (Alternatively, grate the courgettes or slice thinly with a vegetable peeler or julienne cutter.) Set aside.
In a small blender or mini-chopper, combine the avocado flesh, pesto, olive oil, lemon juice and honey until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Halve the tomatoes, and slice the olives.
Pour the dressing over the zoodles, then add the tomatoes and olives and gently toss everything together until well combined. The zoodles should be coated with the dressing.
Arrange on a platter, garnish with basil leaves (if using) and serve!
If you’d like more delicious recipes featuring courgetti (zoodles) then how about…
Garlic & chilli courgetti from Greedy Gourmet
Creamy curried courgette noodles from Greedy Gourmet
Courgetti with coconut milk and sundried tomatoes from Recipes from a Pantry
My tuna ‘meatballs’ with courgetti, spaghetti and tomato sauce