This Sauteed Zucchini (aka summer squash) with Basil and Toasted Pine nuts screams summer to me. Simple to throw together, minimal cooking time, fresh flavorful herbs…and pairs perfectly with pretty much anything off the barbecue!
We didn’t eat a lot of zucchini growing up. I don’t think there was any particular reason, just wasn’t one of our staples. I’m not quite sure how it came about, but somehow over recent years it has become one of our go tos. We even decided to throw a couple of zucchini plants into our garden this year! I don’t know why but for some reason I didn’t think they would work. Man was I wrong, they are growing like crazy! I owe most of the credit to Meik, he is definitely the green thumb in our household. The deal is, he gardens, I cook. Haha.
I was pretty excited to get to use our first zucchini of the year (well, ever grown ourselves) for this dish! I was hoping one of the yellow ones would be ready too but they’re not quite there yet. You could definitely do a combo of the two though for a more colorful dish!
A few of my favorite ways to eat them…
Raw – as a fresh, crunchy snack (also delish dipped in Hummus or yogurt dips)
Steamed, then frozen and thrown into smoothie. This one might come as a surprise but the mild flavor is a great way to up the fiber and veggie factor.
Spiralized (or thinly sliced if you don’t have a spiralizer and tossed into pastas). I’m not a huge fan of them replacing actual noodles but love the combo for a light summer dish!
Roasted with a combo of other veggies like bell peppers, red onion, mushrooms, and kale as a colorful side dish or add in for salads, wraps or tacos, bowls or pretty much anything else
A little tip for picking squash at the grocery store – go for ones that are heavy for their size and avoid tough skins which are found on over mature zucchinis and will likely have tougher flesh and seeds.
I hope you enjoy this recipe sitting out on a patio or with the summer breeze blowing through the windows! Bon Appetit!
If you’re looking for more homemade favorites, try my Traditional Chinese Wonton Soup! It’s a recipe I made a lot growing up and has become a new family fave.Print
Sauteed Zucchini with Basil and Pine Nuts
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 1x
A super simple, flavor packed dish to get your greens! Vegan.
- ¼ pine nuts, toasted
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
- 2 large or 3 small zucchinis (any color), cut into half moons (rounds then cut in half)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste (I love using the big flaked Maldon salt to finish)
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon
- ¼ – ⅓ cup fresh basil, chiffonade (thin strips)
- Optional – 1/4 cup ricotta or feta cheese for a more decadent dish (see directions below)
- Start by browning the pine nuts. Add them to a small pan and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat when golden brown and fragrant, approx 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Next, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat until hot, 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini and let it brown on one side, approx 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, salt, and pepper and stir. Cook another 2-3 minutes until starting to soften but maintaining a bit of bite.
- Squeeze lemon juice and grate lemon rind right into the pan.
- Remove from heat and finish with the basil, giving it one final stir to mix it in. Season with more salt or pepper if needed.
- If using the ricotta, spread approx 1/4 -1/3 cup over the bottom of your serving dish and plate the zucchini on top of it. If using the feta, plate the zucchini and then it with the feta. Otherwise, plate and eat as is for a simple but delicious dish.
- For any option, finish by sprinkling with the pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of Maldon salt* if you have it.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: easy, quick, greens
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @lindsaypleskot with the hashtag #makefoodfeelgood.
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This sounds delicious–and easy to prepare! I wouldn’t have thought to top it with toasted pine nuts (or add the cheese!). I can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Karen!! Pine nuts add such a nice touch! Let me know what you think if you try it out!