Pesto Zoodles with Shrimps is made with an avocado, cilantro and sunflower seeds unctuous pesto topped with lightly spiced garlic-paprika shrimps. A great way to cut on carbs without loosing on taste!
Zoodles, zoodles, zoodles… Quite a “hit” from last summer, not yet out of the spectrum of trends… so let’s make good use of it! I’m looking for ways to cut on carbs these days and zoodles are a great way to imitate a plate of pasta without all the empty calories! If you don’t have a special instrument to make zoodles, no worry! Simply use the cheese grater!
I’ve made the zoodles ultra creamy with the help of an avocado based pesto and gave it a fresh touch of cilantro. If you are one of those “soap” tasting person, simply substitute it by some basil. Plus, since the carbs are low, the avocado will help make the dish satisfying and unctuous.
What is pesto exactly?
Well, I did not know if I could call this sauce a “pesto”, so I went on to check my good friend Wikipedia and got my answer. Pesto is technically a paste that is made by pounding, in other words, done in a mortar. I didn’t use a mortar, but most people nowadays makes their pesto with the blender which … is the modern way to make pesto. So, I’ve used it for this “modern pesto”. The idea came from another Zoodle recipe I’ve made last year (Pesto-Avocado Zoodles) which was dreamy creamy, the perfect dish for a hot summer day. This time I wanted to use a different set of ingredients yet still similar to Genovese pesto. I’ve change the basil for cilantro, the pine nuts for sunflower seeds, the garlic for a fresh green pepper and to keep it vivid green and fresh a touch of lime. I wanted to use shrimps with the Zoodles to add proteins in there so I thought this Cilantro “creamy sweet pesto” would fit perfectly to the spiced up shrimps.
Many types of Paprika
Here, in Spain, there are many types of paprikas… the smoked, the spicy, the bittersweet and the sweet… Each done with different peppers and methods which gives them their own attributes, giving different directions to a dish. However, in other country you’ll simply find the sweet type on the supermarket shelves. If you dig deeper, in speciality shops you might find some love Pimenton de la Vera, the smoked paprika! For this recipe, I wanted some of that “spicy” paprika for the shrimps, to complement the sweet creamy pesto underneath so hopefully your version at home is the “spicy” kind. If not, add a sprinkle of espelette pepper or cayenne powder in there. We wouldn’t want to make this a “too sweet” dish and miss that nice dynamic duo that is spicy and sweet!
So let’s make zoodles!
Cilantro Pesto Zoodles with Shrimps
- 6 zucchinis
- 200 g frozen shrimps
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp vodka (*optional)
- 1 tsp spicy paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 avocado
- 2 handful cilantro leaves
- 50 g sunflower seeds
- 1/4 green bell pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime (juice)
- salt and pepper
- Start by making the zoodles with the zucchinis, using a mandoline or spiralizer, add them to a sieve with a sprinkle of salt.
- In a blender, blend all the ingredients for the cilantro pesto and reserve.
- In a small pan, medium high heat, cook the shrimps with the vodka, garlic, paprika and salt and let them cook until the liquid is out (2-3 minutes).
- Rinse the pan and cook, medium high heat, the zoodles in a bit of olive oil for 1 minute, just enough to warm them up.
- Add the pesto to the zoodles and mix.
- Serve the shrimps on top of the zoodles with a lime wedge.