I’m lucky to work with some fellow foodies who like to talk restaurants and recipes.  This avocado pesto is from a recipe my coworker shared with me a few months ago – it took me too long to try it!  Thanks, Ang!

I’ve seen avocado pesto used as a pasta sauce, so that was my original plan.  Most recipes call for up to 1/2 cup of oil in addition to the healthy fats from the avocado, but this one lets the avocado be the star of the show.  The original recipe called for 2 cloves of garlic, which made it almost inedible (and I’m a garlic fan).  I changed the recipe below to call for just one, but add more at your own risk.  I bet some roasted garlic would be amazing in this recipe.

Here’s how it looks before streaming in the cold water:

For a side dish with our pasta, I made fried zucchini – at Adam’s request.  It’s something my Dad almost always served with spaghetti at home.  I was going to health-ify it by baking it with panko, but I didn’t want to turn on the oven – so canola oil + the stovetop did the job just fine.

Perfect fried zucchini: slice the zucchini and sprinkle with salt to let it “sweat”, wipe off extra salt, coat with flour, dredge in egg wash, then finish with seasoned panko (or other breadcrumbs).

I’ve read other avocado sauce recipes that state that the sauce doesn’t re-heat well, so I only used 2 Tbsp per cup of pasta (brown rice fusilli from Trader Joe’s) and tossed it right before serving.  With the addition of one chopped roma tomato, the dish turned out to be pretty colorful.

Avocado Pesto (Oil Free)

Ingredients (Yeilds a little more than 1/2 cup)

  • 1 large ripe avocado (mine was chilled)
  • ½ cup basil leaves, rinsed & dried
  • ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider or white vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 medium-large clove garlic, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp cold water, as needed

Instructions

Combine all ingredients (except water) in a food processor. Pulse slowly until well combined, then add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately or store cold.

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Approximate nutrition information, per tablespoon: 50 calories, 4 grams fat, 1.5 grams protein

I had a good amount of sauce left over, so I used it as a base for a pizza Saturday night.

Garlic/herb pizza dough, avocado pesto, mushrooms, zucchini, caramelized onion, shredded Italian blend cheese, and goat cheese.

And for Adam and his friends – pepperoni with peppers and onions – how about the shape of these pizzas?

We really need to find our pizza pan.

The pesto was also a great addition to an egg sandwich Sunday  morning.

Egg white, cheddar, tomato, and avocado pesto on wheat toast.

Any other ideas to use avocado pesto?  Have you made an avocado-based sauce before?  Mine lasted about 4 days in the fridge.

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