I haven’t been able to find a zucchini noodle dish that I love enough to get my spiralizer out, but this one totally hits the spot. It’s light, refreshing, satisfying, and bursting with flavor. The crunchy and crispy zoodles (aka zucchini noodles) soak up the pesto and make it super satisfying. The figs (which I’m loving these days!) add a juicy sweetness and work amazingly well with the savory pesto.
To top if off, I sprinkled some sunflower seed crumble to add a cheesy and crunchy texture. According to my boyfriend, it’s really delicious and doesn’t taste like you’re just eating zucchini and lettuce. Enough said!
This dish makes the perfect summertime lunch or light dinner, and you can easily pick up fresh figs, basil, and zucchini at the farmer’s market this time of the year. Let’s get figgy with it!
- 2 large zucchinis
- About 1 cup of fresh figs, sliced
- 2 cups fresh basil, tightly packed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts*
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast**
- 1/4 tsp salt, add a bit more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
*I prefer the flavor of pine nuts, but you can sub with walnuts or use a mix of pine nuts and walnuts.
**You can find nutritional yeast at Whole Foods or order online. It adds a cheesy parmesan-like flavor and is totally worth getting if you’re into making vegan dishes. I use this sodium-free yeast seasoning.)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- Spiralizer (I use this 4-Blade Paderno spiralizer)
- Food processor (high-speed blender will probably work too!)
- Recipe adapted from Nutrition Stripped’s Fig Zucchini Pasta with Hemp Seed Crumble
- Feel free to improvise the toppings! You can add avocado slices, hemp seeds, extra greens, salmon, shrimp, or chicken to make it a fuller meal.
Prep time: 20 min / Total time: 20 min
Cuisine: Vegan, gluten free, raw
- Make the Pesto Dressing: Add basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, and nutritional yeast to the food processor. Process until coarsely chopped. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until mixture is smooth and creamy with a bit of texture. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. (If you’re saving it for later, transfer to an airtight jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.)
- Make the Crumble: Add the sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder to a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped and well combined.
- Make the Zucchini Noodles: Spiralize the zucchini into noodles using a spiralizer. Set aside. (I use this spiralizer and love it. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a Y-peeler to create zucchini ribbons. I found that zucchinis with wide diameters worked best when creating these noodles. Make sure the zucchinis are well washed and fully dried.)
- Assemble the Bowl: Gently toss the zucchini noodles in the pesto. Stir in the sliced figs. Swirl and place the zucchini noodles into two bowls. Garnish with extra figs and sprinkle the sunflower seed crumble on top. Serve immediately and enjoy! If you plan on saving it for later, store the zucchini noodles and dressing separately in the fridge and mix when you’re ready to eat to prevent sogginess.
Photographs by Stephanie Park
P.S. This vegan pesto also works great on toast! See my favorite combo.