with Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Nectarines, and Crispy Chickpeas
Zucchini noodles are the hit vegetable of the summer, appearing on menus across America the moment they came into season. Zoodles are a healthy alternative to starchy pasta, and the fact that they absorb sauces and flavors extremely well is an added bonus. Anya Kassoff, author of The Vibrant Table cookbook and founder of Golubka Kitchen blog is the culinary talent behind this recipe. We think the ripe nectarines make a lovely seasonal addition and complement the crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds. If your nectarine doesn’t open with a twist, slice it away from the pit into wedges.
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- 1 package chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Salt and pepper*
- 3 tablespoons olive oil*
- 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 lemon
- Fresh basil
- 1 pound zucchini
- 1 nectarine
- *not included
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them onto a rimmed baking sheet. Mash some of them lightly with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss well and place into the oven. Cook until golden and crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
Put a large dry skillet over medium-high heat and add the pumpkin seeds. Toast, watching carefully to avoid burning, until lightly browned in places and they begin to puff and pop, about 5 to 7 minutes. When they are done, put them into the work bowl of a food processor.
Rinse and cut the lemon in half. Rinse the basil and pick the leaves from the stems. Add the basil leaves, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water, the juice of half the lemon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and blend with pumpkin seeds until a paste forms, scraping the sides of the work bowl if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt if you’d like.
Rinse and trim the zucchini. To make the zucchini noodles, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a peeler, peel off long thin “noodles” avoiding the center seeds of the vegetable. Put them into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt; toss well to combine.
Add the pesto to the zucchini noodles and toss to combine. Cut the nectarine along the seam and twist to remove the pit. Slice the nectarine and serve it sprinkled over the zoodles along with the crisp chickpeas.