Summer squashes, like zucchini, are a great source of key antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene has been found to help protect against cancer and aging; and lutein and zeaxanthin are important in maintaining eye health. Zucchini is low-calorie, has no saturated fat, and is high in dietary fiber.
Farmers’ markets and gardens are bursting with zucchini in the summer months, and luckily it’s very versatile. Zucchini noodles are a fun way to prepare this tasty summer fruit (yes, zucchini is a fruit!), and are a wonderful, gluten-free substitute for many pasta dishes.
- 1 medium zucchini
- 6 roasted red bell peppers
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Noodles
Slice zucchini into thin, ribbon-like strands using a potato peeler (a mandolin or a julienne peeler are other tools that work) and lightly saute, microwave, bake – or just leave them raw – depending on your personal preference.
For the Sauce
1. Soak sun-dried tomatoes for at least 2 hours to soften.
2. Drain sun-dried tomatoes from the water and add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
3. Pulse on high until smooth.
4. Top prepared zucchini noodles and serve.
– Romesco sauce can also be served on rice or quinoa pasta, roasted veggies, crudites, or any protein.
– If you want to add a protein to this dish, try halibut, salmon, ground bison, or Cornish hens.
– Transfer remaining sauce to a jar or airtight container and refrigerate or freeze it for future use.
Smoky Romesco Sauce recipe courtesy of Vanessa Berenstein, MA, RD.
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