Pumpkin Seed Pesto over Zucchini Noodles, Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free

Summer picnics and cooling summer salads are a perfect combination.  Add this recipe to your tradition and be the hit at the family picnic.  I first made a large bowl of  this salad for a friend's outdoor wedding shower fifteen years ago and it was the 1st bowl/platter empty on the buffet.  As one of the only vegetarians there I was lucky to get up there and get some before it was gone.  I've enhanced the recipe a bit since then, so enjoy this popular salad.  If you have a garden with zucchini, this is an excellent way to use up some of the harvest.  Your friends and family looking for gluten-free options will love you for this.

 by Helen Rose, Raw Food Chef, Superfoods Cafe

Pumpkin Seed Pesto:
2 cloves of Garlic, (peel, crush slightly, and then roughly chop)
2 cups packed fresh Basil Leaves
½ cup green Pumpkin Seeds,  raw  (do not used toasted)
1/3 cup of Nutritional Yeast
1/3 cup of stone crushed Olive Oil
1 Lemon juiced
Pinch of Red Pepper flakes
Pink Himalayan Salt to taste Zucchini Noodles
3 large Zucchini
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
Fresh Basil Leave, for garnishing

  1. To prepare the pesto: In a high speed blender, combine garlic, basil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth and season with salt to taste.  Make sure it is smooth.   Note:I sometimes double or triple my pesto recipe and freeze some for making quick dishes.  It is quick to thaw and can be used on zucchini noodles, kelp noodles, in dressing and sauces, on top of sliced tomatoes (thinned down), and in my pesto canapé recipe.
  2. To prepare the noodles: Use a kitchen slicer by World Cuisine to slice the zucchini into linguini size noodles.  Toss the zucchini with pest until well coated.
  3. Add in the sliced cherry or grape tomatoes for color and cut basil leaves into thin strips to garnish the dish.  Refrigerate or serve.