Gluten Free Julienned Zucchini with Lemon Pesto Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on January 20, 2008

Years ago I bought a plastic Japanese Mandoline. You know the one you see on late night infomercials? The kind you can have for two easy payments of $9.99 BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! You also get a vegetable garnishing set, a citrus juicer, a nut chopper, a set of ever-sharp steak knives and if you call in the next three and half seconds, a Honda Civic.

I got a lot of use out of the little sucker. I sliced potatoes to au gratin, I shredded cabbage for coleslaw and I even crinkle cut carrots hoping the cool shape would entice my kids to eat them. I used it so much I finally broke it.

My husband, being the sweetheart he is, replaced my cheapo Japanese Mandoline with a super professional steel French one from an expensive gourmet shop that was more in the range of one un-easy payment of $199.99. That was about five years ago and I had never even taken it out of the box! My normal method of justification for expensive items is to amortize the cost out by number of times used. (This works very well for shoes!) So obviously I had to start using it.

After I got it out and tried to read the pigeon English directions for assembly I went about setting it up. By the time I started frantically hunting for a sledge hammer and screwdriver (not required) I was almost ready to give it up. But then in one last attempt the thing went together beautifully (with a slight bit of coaxing from a butter knife) and I went about slicing, shredding and julienning everything in sight. Thus julienned zucchini with lemon pesto was born. If you don’t have a mandolin you can julienne the zucchini with a knife or easier yet just grate them using the large holes on a box grater. The brightness of the lemon pesto really enhances the zucchini. By the way, the lemon pesto is great on gluten-free pasta as well as shrimp.

The trick here is to cook the zucchini quickly over high heat; this keeps it from getting mushy. Make the lemon pesto first so you can toss it in the pan with the zucchini for the last few seconds of cooking.

I won’t insult you by calling this zucchini pasta because as we all know pasta is pasta and zucchini is…well, zucchini.

Gluten Free Julienned Zucchini with Lemon Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Julienned Zucchini

8 zucchini – julienned or grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lemon Pesto (recipe to follow)
Additional lemon zest for garnish – optional
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish – optional

Lemon Pesto

Juice and zest of 2 lemons (I use a microplane for zesting)
1 bunch basil leaves (about ½ cup or one large handful)
5 gloves of garlic, smashed and peels removed
3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan
¼ cup olive oil
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper

Directions

Julienned Zucchini

Dry the zucchini on paper towels after julienning or grating.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the zucchini and sauté quickly about 1 minute. You want the zucchini to be warmed through but still a little crunchy. Add the lemon pesto and heat for about another 15 or 20 seconds just to warm it through. Garnish with additional lemon zest and or grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Lemon Pesto

In a small food processor or blender add all the pesto ingredients and process until well combined.

Note: you can add grated Parmesan cheese to this pesto is you like, really nice when using it for gluten-free pasta. Just work in about 3 tablespoons at the end after all the other ingredients are combined.

Servings

This gluten free recipe serves 6

Gluten Free Julienned Zucchini with Lemon Pesto Recipe by Carol Kicinski

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  • Naomi Devlin

    I’m going to book mark this for early summer when we get english zucchini – or courgettes as we call them.

    It made me crave for something light and summery – that yellow pesto and basil (a small tear of summer longing just sprang up then).

    Think my spleen is calling out for yellow. I get that in January. I guess it’s not horribly cold and rainy where you are? Well it is here! Time to break out the turmeric.
    x

  • The girl who took out gluten

    Gorgeous!! That looks too good to eat. Beautiful!!

  • Mansi Desai

    another great recipe carol:)

  • Jeena

    Lovely new blog. I love julienned zucchini there is something so fruity and delicious about it when used in this way. This recipe looks great with lemons too yum yum. :-)

  • Richa

    thanks you for ur kind words on my blog & what a lovely discovery yours is :) Would like to try ur version of the Apricot almond tart, love ‘em apricots anytime, though i usually use the dried ones out of season.

  • bigfish_chin

    Hi, thanks for dropping by my blog! And appreciated your comment!
    You have a nice blog too… love in first sight here! Expecially the way u took the photos!
    I’m adding you in my list :)

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