Fresh crisp courgette noodles – or “zoodles!” – are tossed with olives, ripe juicy tomatoes, & a creamy avocado dressing, for a delicious summer lunch or side dish.
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 (aka courgetti). The plan was a simple salad with a fresh herb dressing, but I kept finding other things I wanted to include, like avocado, and olives. In the end though, I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I ate the lot, so that should tell you something about how yummy it was!
You may have noticed that I’ve been sharing lots of salads and cold dishes recently. Thanks to the hot weather, the oven has barely been used in the last 6 weeks. Apart from the occasional toasted sandwich or quick stir-fry, salads have become a mainstay of our family meals. 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 noodles = ‘zoodles’) have a slight crunch and a bitter-sweet flavour, both of which are quite different to the experience of eating cooked courgettes. Plus, of course you get the extra nutritional benefits from the vitamins and essential phytonutrients that are usually destroyed during cooking.
Round the spirals
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. It’s 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 a larger and more elaborate one.
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!
No spiraliser required!
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 taste just as delicious.
The avocado pesto dressing for this courgetti salad whizzes up in a few seconds using a mini-chopper or hand blender. Although of course, you could just mash the avocado and whisk it together with the other ingredients. The olives and tomatoes make the salad extra summery, as well as more colourful.
On balance, I’m pretty glad I changed my plans! We all loved this yummy and vibrant summer salad.
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Zoodle salad with avocado pesto & baby tomatoes
- 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