Zoodles with a cilantro-avocado and sunflower seeds unctuous pesto topped with lightly spiced garlic-paprika shrimps. A great way to cut on carbs and fit right in that bikini this summer!
Zoodles, zoodles, zoodles… Quite a “hit” from last summer, not yet out of the spectrum of trends this summer… so let’s make good use of it! I’m looking for ways to cut on carbs those 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 large hole cheese grater!
I’ve 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 guys when you eat cilantro, just substitute it by some basil. Plus, since the carbs are out the window, the avocado will help make the dish a satisfying and unctuous one with it’s fat content. Don’t worry it’s a good “kind” of fat!
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, since I’m fairly lazy when it’s too hot in the kitchen to cook, 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 shrimps.
Paprika’s many faces
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. Although where I’m from, Canada, and am sure many other places. The markets often just have one or two type of “paprika”, you can generally find a “smoked paprika” and then the general “paprika”. For this recipe, I wanted some of that “spicy” paprika for the shrimps, to complement the sweet cream 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!
Creamy Cilantro Zoodles with Paprika Shrimps
Makes 4 portions |Preparation: 15 minutes | Difficulty: easy
- 6 zucchinis
- shrimps (amount up to you)
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- paprika (spicy)
- 40ml (1 shot) brandy
- salt and pepper
- 50g of sunflower seeds
- 2 full hands of fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 lime (juice)
- 1/4 of a green bell pepper
- 1 small avocado
- salt and pepper
- Start by making the zoodles with the zucchinis, add them to a sieve with a sprinkle of salt
- In a blender mix all the ingredients for the cilantro pesto and reserve
- In a small pan, high heat, cook the shrimps with the vodka, garlic, paprika and salt and let them cook until the liquid is out (2 minutes)
- Rinse the pan and cook, 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