Kale Pepita Pesto over Zucchini Ribbons

Life has been a little odd lately. There are times of constantly feeling like I’m super busy and occupied, then lulls where I become so overwhelmed that I just sit and do nothing. Now, that doesn’t happen to often, although I know it’s good to take some breaks to relieve stress. But, in the midst of it all, I’ve rekindled my romance with fresh summer produce and the flavor and colors it brings to the table.

I recently went to my local Farmers Market and was greeted with an array of colors and scents. So many beautiful tomatoes and an assortment of stone fruit beckoned me to take them home, I wish I had room for everything! After buying some fresh nectarines, tomatoes, freshly baked Gilroy Garlic Sourdough (!), sprouts and a couple of other things, I headed back home feeling quite satisfied with my purchases.

Food isn’t the only thing that inspires me (contrary to what I may talk about on here ALL of the time ;)). With the great weather that Southern California has been having lately, despite the increasing temperatures and humidity, I’ve been finding myself outdoors more and more; staying active by riding mountain bikes and doing my fair share of hiking. I’m always surprised by the views and scenery that Orange County has to offer, especially considering that I feel like I’m surrounded by concrete most of the time.

When I’m not outside, I’m back in the kitchen playing with new recipes and trying to eat a little healthier. I just bought two huge bunches of Lacinato Kale and was figuring out how to incorporate some more greens into my dinner without getting my hands too dirty. I happen to have some basil on hand as well as some lemons and an assortment of seeds and nuts to choose from. Pesto it was! But, I chose raw pepitas to experiment with. Success!

By the way, that’s my mom up there, making salads for her and my dad’s dinner. She’s going to kill me when she sees this! (HI MOM! <3) Anyway, the pesto is a marvelous green color with great texture and flavor. I topped some simple zucchini ribbons with my pesto, but it would also be great on pita chips, in a wrap, or a great addition to salads.

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Kale Pepita Pesto over Zucchini Ribbons
Recipe type: Entree, Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
A bright and colorful kale pepita pesto that is versatile and delicious!
  • 1½ Cup Kale, Ribs Removed & Firmly Packed
  • ¾ Cup Raw Pepitas
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 2½ Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • ½ tsp. Salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ½ Cup Basil, Chopped & Loosely Packed
  • ¼-1/2 Cup Water, Depending on desired consistency (I used ½ Cup)
  • 3 6-8" Zucchini
Optional Toppings:
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Lemon Zest
  • Olives
  1. Place all ingredients besides the water and zucchini into a food processor or powerful blender and pulse until the mixture becomes a fine paste.
  2. Add the water in a little at a time and pulse until you have your desired consistency. You may need to add salt depending on your taste preference.
  3. Next, take your zucchini and using a peeler, press down firmly on the skin and run the peeler along the length of the vegetable. Repeat this step until all zucchini are peeled into ribbons.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt on the ribbons and top with pesto, plus any extra vegetables you'd like to include.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities to do during the Summer?

22 Comments on “Kale Pepita Pesto over Zucchini Ribbons

  1. That’s a pretty salad! Love the zucchini ribbons! The lake picture from Orange County is beautiful. Where is that?

    • The lake picture is from Peter’s Canyon, which has walking trails and is in the city of Orange. :)

  2. I have not made pesto with kale or pepitas. I will have to try it soon because I love both of them. Looks so good over those zucchini ribbons too.

    • Thanks Jemma, me too! It’s such an easy way to pull a meal together.

  3. What a gorgeous plate of zucchini ribbons & pesto! I’m definitely going to make a variation of this soon–love the veggies on top.

  4. A bright and colorful dish indeed. I have different varieties of kale growing in my garden one of which is lacinato, love it.

    • Your garden is so amazing! I have little seedlings of lacinato growing right now, so hopefully they’ll survive the bugs!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Gabby! Summer produce certainly makes dishes easier on the eyes. 😀

    • Thanks Claire! You should definitely try it out. It’s too easy not to! 😀

  5. That looks super healthy and tasty. I love pesto with anything and have just discovered zucchini ribbons from Jamie Oliver. They are so pretty.

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