Zucchini, Tomatoes, Pesto and Queso Blanco Cheese

This is the time of the year when there is an abundance of fresh vegetables and herbs in my garden and the markets. When I first saw this recipe I was immediately drawn in at the word “pesto”.  A flavorful ingredient to perk up a side dish like this. What a perfect way to use summer vegetables and my all-time favorite herb, basil. Search “pesto” for my homemade version plus other recipes using this fabulous sauce.

I saw this Mexican recipe in one of my Food Network magazines by chef Aaron Sanchez. I never seem to catch any of his shows and besides I don’t cook a lot of Mexican food even though I love to eat it.

Yes, I did take an authentic Mexican cooking class recently and I am not sure it tweaked my interest in learning more. However, the tomatillo sauce was so good over the chicken enchilladas that I will probably make this one recipe at home!! I thought I would share some of the pictures from that class with everyone.

Below some students are getting the tomatillos ready to cook; the sauce after pureeing with some chilies, onions and spices; and the finished chicken enchilladas.

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Now for Aaron’s recipe which I did change; I added more tomatoes and pesto!

Zucchini, Tomatoes, Pesto and Queso Blanco Cheese, Adapted

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. zucchini, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes cored, peeled and diced
  • 1 or 2 green onions, chopped or fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp. pesto
  • 1/2 cup (or more) queso blanco cheese, crumbled
  • fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook garlic briefly in the olive oil; add zucchini and cook until slightly softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomato and green onions and cook another 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the pesto and cheese, stirring until combined. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Just delicious and a perfect side dish with  lightly fried crab cakes 🙂

Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju.com  

I am bringing this colorful and tasty dish to share with Angie, Elaine, Jhuls and the rest of the party goers at Fiesta Friday.

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22 thoughts on “Zucchini, Tomatoes, Pesto and Queso Blanco Cheese

  1. I’m a lucky girl today. Everybody seems to be bringing recipes that I need. A couple of pork recipes came and this week pork is on sale in my grocery store. And then this. You know I have a stash of tomatoes and zucchini being a gardener. And of course homemade pesto made from homegrown basil. Thanks, Judi!

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    • Thanks Angie – I bet your garden has lots of good veggies to eat. I can remember in my big country garden some of my zucchini were 2 feet long – you know how fast they grow. The addition of pesto really takes this recipe over the top – the recipe just says “summer” 🙂

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  2. I love the pictures from your cooking class – that sound like so much fun! I haven’t seen queso blanco here in the UK, but I read you can substitute it with feta. I better get bookmarking 🙂

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    • Thanks Ginger – I do enjoy my cooking classes. I have a few cookbooks on Mexican cuisine including the one you recommended “Mexico”. You can use any good melting cheese – I looked online and there are a few suggestions for substitutes including Feta 🙂

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      • I’ve just found THE Latin American cookbook of all times – I’m so in love with it, I even read it at bedtime … It’s called La Cocina Latina and won a lot of awards in the States. Have you come across it? If not, put it on your Christmas wishlist – it is brilliant! I’m going to review it in a few weeks, once I’ve tried out a few more recipes (and taken halfway decent pictures of the results). But nothing beats a good cooking class 🙂

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  3. How fun, an authentic Mexican cooking class. I have one of Chef Sanchez’s cookbooks. I’ll have to see if his tomatillo sauce is in there. Those enchiladas looked amazing, and that sauce would be great on so many things. Your zucchini and tomatoes look delicious too! We love pesto, and like you love basil. I’ve just potted some herbs in pots so I can have them through the winter, fingers crossed. It will be sad when I can’t just go out and get a delicious tomato and a handful of herbs, but that’s winter and the reason I look forward to spring! Have a great weekend Judi!

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    • Thanks Julie – I don’t have any of Aaron’s books but I loved the freshness of this recipe especially with pesto. It gives such great flavor to so many recipes.The tomatillo sauce or salsa verde was really good with the chicken enchilladas. I need to make this recipe and post it. I love this time of year and dread when it will be over. Like you I will miss all of the fresh herbs and veggies. My herbs are growing on my kitchen windowsill and I have a couple of varieties of basil micro greens I am going to grow (Italian Large Leaf and a Lemon Basil). Enjoy your weekend too Julie 🙂

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    • Thank you Linda – I always enjoy my cooking classes and I tried nopales, or cactus paddles for the first time in a salad and they were good! The recipe is a must for this time of the year here in Michigan. Have a great weekend 🙂

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  4. Great dish Judi – I love it that you take cooking classes here and there. I am not sure where I would look for classes like that over here. I wouldn’t mind taking a pastry class. Perhaps a baking one too.

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    • You should live here Loretta – Zingerman’s Bakehouse offers an unbelievable number of baking and pastry classes and just this year they have branched out into classes such as this Mexican one. Pricey but the classes usually last 4 hours, you make everything from scratch,you get to taste everything and then bring home lots of goodies that you have made. The classes are usually well-done in a professional kitchen : Let’s see Tiramisu, Italian rolls, NY Pizza, Ciabatta and Focaccia, Fondant, Cupcakes, Banh Mi Sandwiches, Detroit Classics, Mexican and others I can’t think of right now. All lots of fun – next one I am taking is in October – Zingerman’s classics. Have a good week 🙂

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