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Summer Pasta Salad with Zucchini, Corn and Cilantro Pesto

Summer Pasta Salad w/ Grilled Zucchini, Corn and Cilantro Pesto is made with gluten-free rice noodles and loaded up with healthy summer veggies, then tossed in the most flavorful Cilantro Pesto.... deliciously addicting! Vegan and Gluten-free! #summerpastasalad #pastasalad #cornpasta #cilantropesto #zucchinipasta #zucchini #potluck

4.9 from 18 reviews

Summer Pasta Salad w/ Grilled Zucchini, Corn and Cilantro Pesto is made with gluten-free rice noodles and loaded up with healthy summer veggies, then tossed in the most flavorful Cilantro Pesto…. deliciously addicting! Vegan and Gluten-free!

Ingredients

Units
  • 6 ounces rice noodles
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half, seeded
  • 1/2 an onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 12 ears of fresh corn ( or use frozen, roasted corn ), shucked
  • oil, salt and pepper for veggies
  • Garnish with cherry tomatoes, lime wedges, pepitas, cilantro leaves

Vegan Cilantro Pesto:

  • 1 large bunch cilantro and thin stems
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • 12 tablespoons chopped jalapeno ( optional)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds ( raw)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander ( optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional- only if you like smoky flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Instructions

Preheat the grill to medium high, and boil water for the rice noodles.

Prep the veggies – brush or spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour boiling water over the rice noodles, ( I put them in a baking dish) let stand for 3 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Place the veggies on the grill, lower heat to medium, cover,  then make the cilantro pesto. Check the veggies every 5 minutes or so….turning.

Place all the cilantro, garlic and jalapeño in food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients, pulse until combined but not too smooth. You should have a fairly loose (runny) pesto -perfect for tossing the salad.

Once the veggies are done, cut into bite-sized pieces. Give the pasta a final cool water rinse, loosening it up. Drain and place in a bowl. Add the Cilantro Pesto and the veggies and an additional ½ teaspoon salt, and possibly more to taste. Adjust lime, salt and heat according to your taste preference. I’ll sometimes add a pinch of chipotle pepper, or chili flakes, or even more finely chopped jalapeño to bump up the heat.

Place on a serving platter or in a bowl, top with halved cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with more pepitas and cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.

Notes

Feel free to add crumbled cheese- queso fresco is nice. Top with grilled shrimp, fish or chicken.

Nutrition

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