I don’t know about you, but I’m drowning in summer’s bounty of zucchini. The solution? An incredibly simple side dish like Sautéed Zucchini Noodles with Basil, Pine Nuts, and Olives!
Think you need a spiralizer for veggie noodles? Think again. These gorgeous zucchini ribbons don’t require special equipment beyond something you likely already have in your kitchen—a vegetable peeler. I used the same method in my crazy popular Carrot Ribbons with Rosemary Butter Sauce recipe, and it’s high time I use it again.
I adore how simplistic and beautiful zucchini noodles are. Just pause for a moment and look at these pictures—notice the delicate swoops and twists of the zucchini ribbons, the vibrant green of summer with contrast from the kalamata olives.
Truthfully, the most simplistic dishes are often the most stunning. This recipe has a whopping 5 ingredients and the hardest part is making the veggie ribbons.
Lately, I need simple recipes like sautéed zucchini noodles with basil, pine nuts, and olives. Frankly, life has been freaking bonkers. Namely, I started a business, which is something I never thought I would claim in my lifetime. It started when a couple from the gym asked if I would be their wedding photographer. I initially scoffed at the idea because I primarily take pictures of food for this blog, but that quickly turned to tears over their steadfast belief in me. There are many twists and turns in the story, but to sum it all up…I’ve registered a business name and I can now call myself a photographer. I’m spending nearly every moment of free time I have learning, researching, and practicing.
Of course, it’s all part time, which previously was taken up with this blog. I’ll have to establish a balance between these two pursuits at some point!
For now, it’s stressful but rewarding. It’s frustrating but fascinating. It takes work, effort, and care—and I’m absolutely willing to do those things. Frankly, it’s a lot like running this website, just with clients instead of awesome internet friends!
In the meantime, I’m returning to basics. I could have made pesto for this recipe, but I decided to skip that and use fresh basil and pine nuts instead. It’s a deconstructed pesto, I guess. I’m aiming to keep things simple but still, of course, delicious.
If you want all the deets on using a vegetable peeler to ribbon vegetables, check out my carrot ribbon recipe. But I’m sure you can figure it out…it’s really hard to screw this up!
Sautéed Zucchini Noodles with Basil, Pine Nuts, and Olives
- Make zucchini ribbons/noodles using a vegetable peeler. Repeatedly run the vegetable peeler lengthwise down the zucchini to create long ribbons.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add the pine nuts and toast, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add avocado oil to the same skillet and increase to medium-high heat. Once heated, add a handful of zucchini noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes, tossing frequently with kitchen tongs. Work in batches – adding too many zucchini noodles at once will cause the zucchini to steam, release moisture, and get soggy. You only need to add enough zucchini noodles to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add cooked zucchini noodles to a large bowl.
- Once all the zucchini noodles are done, toss in the toasted pine nuts, basil, and kalamata olives. Serve immediately!
I often skip “ribboning” the center of the zucchini because it’s too soft. Instead, I’ll chop it up and add it to salads or roast it with olive oil.
Keywords: sauteed zucchini noodles, zucchini with basil pine nuts olives