Who is ready for spring? I think we all are. One of the first signs of spring, even before Easter, is another fun holiday. You guessed it – St. Patrick’s Day! This year, we will celebrate on Saturday, March 17th.
A quick history lesson to answer two burning questions – who was St. Patrick and why is everything green on this day? Long story short, St. Patrick was born in Britain, kidnapped when he was a teenager and spent years in Ireland as slave. While enslaved he became religious and after he escaped, returned to Ireland as the first Christian missionary. This all happened in the 5th century. March 17th is actually the day he died. Tradition is to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day because supposedly the clover was used by St. Patrick to explain the Trinity to the people of Ireland. But it also had a lot to do with war and politics which is easily google-able if you are really interested. Today, the color green mostly stands for Irish nationalism and pride.
If you are not a fan of traditional Irish-American corn beef and cabbage like I am, here is a dish that would be great to serve on March 17th – zucchini noodles and pesto.
- 4 small zucchini, ends trimmed
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cherry or grape tomatoes, optional
Use a spiralizer or mandolin to slice the zucchini into noodles. Set aside.
To make the pesto, combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper. OR, you can just buy it in the jar.
Combine the zucchini noodles and pesto. Toss until zucchini noodles are well coated. Top with tomatoes, if using. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Note-if you want to cook the zucchini noodles, you can. Just add the zucchini pesto noodles to a skillet and sauté them up over medium heat. It only takes a few minutes.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Here is a picture of Coach Megan, Coach Christa and me on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago 2010. We went to see the already green Chicago river being dyed a bright green using an orange powder!