What is it about August and pesto? It must be the bumper crop of basil that somehow manages to explode every year around this time, sending me and my food processor into near panic in the process.
I’ve been making the same pesto recipe for years and, as most classic recipes do, mine boasts a decent amount of Parmesan cheese.
But when my daughter, who: a) LOVES pesto and b) became vegan, asked for a dairy-free version, I needed to reinvent this tried-and-true dish.
I was thoroughly unconvinced that replacing my beloved chunk of Parmesan with avocado would result in anything remotely resembling a decent pesto — till I tasted it. We all (and by “we” I include the cheese-loving carnivores in our clan) agreed that it was delicious.
And I’ll admit, I was secretly thrilled to have a healthier version of this recipe in my back pocket.
And whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, or just looking to eat a little “lighter” now and then, I think you will be too.
Avocado Pesto Pasta
from Chef Chloe
1 lb. whole wheat linguine
1 bunch fresh basil, reserving a few sprigs for garnish
1/2 c. pine nuts
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 T. fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Combine basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Toss pasta with pesto; add tomatoes. Divide pasta among serving bowls and garnish each serving with a basil leaf.