Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
and sausage / berry smoothie
Many countries have some version of Ajvar sauce made with grilled eggplants, red peppers and garlic. The creamy, smoky sauce keeps well in the fridge and is great spooned over grilled meats or as a dip for vegetables. For a vegetable-rich dinner, we love it tossed with zucchini noodles and savory sausage.
- Bell peppers, red - 3/4 lb
- Eggplants - 3/4 lb
- Garlic - 2 cloves , peeled
- Oil, olive - 4 Tbsp
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Sausage, any pre-cooked type - 12 oz , sliced
- Zucchini - 1 lb , spiralized or sliced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Roasted red pepper sauce (ingredients listed separately) - ~1 cup
- Berries, any mix of frozen or fresh - 2 cups
- Bananas - 2
- Milk, almond (sub light coconut milk) - 1 cup
- Ice - 2 cups
Roast peppers and eggplants - (If not already done for Wednesday’s meal.) Heat grill or turn on your oven’s broiler. Core stem out of red peppers. Slice eggplants in half, lengthwise. Brush veggies lightly with some oil. Broil on a sheet pan or grill over direct heat until skins are blackened, ~6 minutes each side. Transfer eggplants to a cutting board. Place bell peppers in a mixing bowl and cover with a plate for ~5 minutes to steam off skins. Use a peeler to remove skin from eggplants. Once they are cool enough to touch, use fingers to peel skin off peppers. Roughly chop eggplants and peppers. (Check out this video for tips on roasting peppers.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make sauce - Peel garlic. Combine eggplants, peppers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. (Add a splash of water if needed to bring the mixture together.) Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Sausage - Slice sausage. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Zucchini - Turn zucchini into 'noodles' with a spiralizer or peel off strips with a peeler. (Note: If you prefer, you can also just slice your zucchini to make a zucchini saute.)
Make smoothies - Combine berries, bananas, almond milk and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth.
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Heat a nonstick pan or skillet over medium-heat. Add first part of cooking oil and then sausage to heated oil. Brown sausage on both sides, ~2 minutes total. Set aside and return pan to heat, draining any excess oil in the pan.
Add second part of cooking oil and then zucchini to heated oil with a pinch of salt. Saute zucchini until tender, ~2 minutes for zucchini noodles and 4 minutes for zucchini slices. Pour Ajvar sauce over zucchini and saute until sauce is heated through and fragrant, ~2 minutes more.
Add sausage to pan and stir to coat everything in sauce. Season with some salt and pepper.
Transfer zucchini noodles and sausage to serving bowls. Serve smoothies on the side (or save them for dessert). Enjoy!