This is such a simple recipe I am excited to share it with you. The vegetable ‘pasta’ will fool and delight all your meaty friends with its silky, al dente bite and rich Italian flavours. Picada is a classic Catalan ‘sauce’ which uses almonds (Spain is 2nd largest to USA producer of almonds), bread, and garlic to act more as a seasoning than what you may think of as a typical sauce. But some call it sauce. If you add tomatoes or a vegan cream substitute and it could be a sauce. Anyway, MY picada is acting here as a piquant seasoning to coat strips of colourful vegetable pasta. I used truffle oil to lightly coat the zucchini and spooned on the picada liberally. They all make for easy companions.
I used my new kitchen tool. A Zyliss julienne peeler, I heard about it via Almost Vegan. It is so much easier, but admittedly a little less fun, than using the spiraliser, and it only takes up a wee bit of space in my kitchen drawer. I’d even consider taking it travelling with me. Yes…I think about these things.
For this recipe I used a yellow & green zucchini/courgette. Grown by a friend on his veggie patch, so it was extra special. The colours add something to the dish.
As with most recipes, there are a few variations on a theme, dotted around the web. I made it as simple as possible.
2 Tbs organic almond flour (you could soak your own, peel off skins and then grind)
1 Tbs truffle oil. I used this because I’m loving the strong, distinct flavour of it right now. EV Olive oil is good too.
2 slices of gluten free Raw Garlic Bread. You can use 1 slice of any country style white bread.
3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbs pine nuts – lightly toast if desired
Wash and julienne your zucchini/courgette into a mixing bowl. I love seeing all the perfectly uniform strips falling into the bowl.
to prepare the Picada
1. this is optional if you want to keep the dish raw, but I very lightly toasted the almond flour in a pan for a few moments to bring out the flavours from the oils.
2. in a small blender or a pestle and mortar if you have not got one (a standard blender probably won’t do much with the small quantity, you could double the ingredients. I promise you you will utilise it), add the toasted almonds, pine nuts, oil, roughly torn bread, parsley, garlic & salt and blend to a fine crumb
3. toss the julienned vegetables very lightly in oil. Crumble the picada over the top and plate up. Let a few delicate strands of saffron fall from your fingers to the pasta, to colour each plate.
The dish is light but the flavours are so intense, it is surprisingly filling.
India Leigh x