Avocado Pesto – Quick Sauce or Dip

There are many versions of this done-in-minutes, versatile, delicious pesto and without the pasta it’s a great dip for your vegetables or as a spread on whatever you fancy.

At roughly 130 calories per 2 tablespoon serving and packed with nutrition, get creative with this and use it often.

Here’s how I make it from few ingredients and no fussy measures.   Btw, did I mention how good this is with zucchini noodles?

  • 1 med. avocado (not too very ripe)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 handfuls of basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil

Seasoning: salt (I like herbal salt from Dr. Vogel) and freshly ground black pepper and a little lemon juice to taste.

Optional (but for me a must): a good tablespoon of toasted pine nuts (Don’t have those? Use toasted cashews or walnuts instead).

Scoop out the avocado, add to a food processor with the crushed garlic, torn basil leaves, pine nuts if using, Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of salt.  Process until nearly as smooth as you like it (but don’t over do it) add a little drizzle of olive oil and process again for a few seconds.

Once you drain your pasta, drop half the amount of pesto you will be using on the bottom of the hot pasta pot then the pasta and top this with more avocado pesto.  Toss gently or use tongs.  In this way you are warming the sauce a little and keeping the pasta hot.  Serve in warmed bowls or deep plates.

Top this if you like with chili flakes, shavings of Parmesan cheese and a few leaves of basil cut into strips.  Sauteed cherry tomato halves are also a colourful, delicious garnish.

What else pairs well with this?  Prawns or shrimp, chicken breast strips or salmon bites quickly sauteed in a pan while your pasta is cooking.

This is also an excellent spread for your bruchetta topped with fresh or roasted tomato slices.  Or just toasted walnut halves.  A delicious snack!

Tip:  If you make this in advance, press plastic film on the surface and refrigerate.  This keeps a day or two in the refrigerator.

 

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