13 July 2010

Avocado Pesto

Avocado pesto has been on my radar for a while. Ted Leo twittered (tweeted? twatted? don't judge me! I don't have a twitter, I just stalk "famous" people on them) about making avocado pesto a while ago and kept promising to post the recipe, but he never did... So I looked it up myself.

I found a handful of recipes at different websites. Epicurious had one but the reviews weren't that great and I didn't really like the way the recipe looked anyway. I looked around and ended up using this recipe which I think might have been the one Ted Leo used, based on what his picture looked like. (And because it's vegan!) I will admit I was planning on adding parmesan cheese but I didn't have any.

The reviews on all the websites were pretty mixed, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But it is a perfect harmony of guacamole and pesto! I was a little worried about the lime juice, but it complemented both the avocado and the basil nicely. Avocados don't have a whole lot of flavor, but they give the pesto a great smooth texture. The avocado also makes it really thick, as opposed to regular pesto that is just held together by oil. As it is, this is a pretty even mix of avocado and basil. You could make it more of a basil guacamole if you preferred, or have less avocado for a stronger basil flavor. I ate this over pasta, but it would be good as a dip for pita chips, or as a spread on sandwiches, or just to roll around in because it's that good.

A note of caution! Avocados brown after being exposed to air, so if you don't finish all of the pesto in one day, squeeze some extra lime on top and cover it tightly with cling wrap.

1 bunch of basil leaves, stems removed, leaves rinsed
2 large avocados, peeled and pitted (I had small ones so I used 3)
5-10 large cloves of garlic (I love garlic and I want my pesto to be spicy with garlic! you can use less if you want)
1/2 cup pine nuts
2-4 limes (you never know how much juice will come out of them... so have extras just in case!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Toast the pine nuts until they turn golden and the oils come to the surface.
2. Put the basil leaves, avocado, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Squeeze two of the limes into the food processor.
3. Process until you have a paste.
4. Taste. Add the juice from one more lime if you'd like. Add salt and pepper and olive oil.
5. Process again until everything is mixed in. Season with more salt or pepper (or lime) if you'd like. If it seems dry, you can add more olive oil.

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