Colorful Cucumber Pesto Salad

Colorful Cucumber Pesto
Colorful Cucumber Pesto

Colorful Cucumber Pesto

     I was in the mood for something light, but with a kick of protein. It’s a beautiful July 4th day in Pennsylvania, and I’m invited to a cookout this afternoon, but needed something to hold me until then. I decided to use the Veggetti Pro, which allows us to “spiralize” cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, anything you can imagine. I love the act of twirling spaghetti on my fork..but now I can do this with veggies!

I need a little substance, so I knew that pesto would do the trick. Is it pasta….no, but it can easily coat the cucumber and carrots that were previously soaked in apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt. I was at Wegmans (large supermarket chain in my area) today shopping for my two upcoming television appearances about this blog. I came upon multicolored carrots. I put a purple one in the spiralizing manual machine, and used the “ribbon cutting” setting. It was purple on the outside with a firey yellow in the middle. It was perfect to make this salad more colorful!

I soaked the spiralized cucumber and carrot in some apple cider vinegar and sea salt to soften it and add flavor, then drained it. I cut the top off of the basil plant as a decoration on top and whipped up some “almond” pesto. A few months ago, I didn’t have any pine nuts to add to the pesto, but I always have an abundance of almonds. I used them and loved it! I have been using it ever since that day and I love the light brown flecks in the pesto now.

This salad has the bite of the vinegar, the sweet smooth flavor of basil and almond in the pesto and the crunch of veggies. It is a refreshing salad and it is a healthy treat in this warm weather we are having here. Enjoy!

Colorful Cucumber Pesto

 1 English cucumber

10 multicolored tomatoes (sliced in half)

1 purple carrot (substitute regular orange carrot if not available)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp raw sugar

¾ cup apple cider vinegar

Almond Pesto

 2 cups packed basil leaves

2 cloves garlic

¼ c almonds

2/3 c olive oil

½ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

salt and pepper

In a food processor, add basil, garlic, almonds, olive oil, pecorino cheese and salt and pepper to taste and blend it, until smooth. Set aside.

Use the Veggetti Pro or another spiralizer machine, and use the setting to make thick noodles out of your vegetables. If you don’t have any of these items, you can slice both of these vegetables thinly and make a regular salad.

Run the cucumber (not peeled) through it and also the purple carrot. In a small bowl, combine apple cider vinegar with the salt and sugar and place the cucumber and carrot in the bowl, toss and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Drain and put in the bowl. Layer the multicolored tomatoes on top of the salad and place a large tablespoon full of the pesto in the middle. Snip off the top of the basil leaf plant and rest it on the side of the pesto. Toss the pesto in the salad and enjoy!

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