Summer is the season of speedy ripening. A peach can go from hard to moldy in less than 24 hours. A banana from yellow to speckled in seemingly minutes. And an avocado from hard to creamy within just a day.
Summer is the season of inspiration from ingredients that aren’t going to last — and it’s this little push that makes my creative juices thrive.
Cue: avocado pesto.
This sauce relies on the simple efforts of a food processor. Yet, the straightforward combination of ingredients lends itself to so many possibilities.
This pesto could go great with tacos, on toast, pasta or grain bowls. Give it a starch, and it’s bound to shine.
The first night, I shared this pesto with a friend on pasta. We sauted some mushrooms to throw on top, added a cold glass of beer to the side, and enjoyed a lovely meal in my backyard. The remainder, I used the next day to spoon over rice, as pictured above, with some fresh tomatoes from the market.
The topping options here are endless, as is the starch like I mentioned above. Feel free to get creative and use what other fast-ripening ingredients you may have on hand!
This dish is also great topped with sauteed mushrooms or other veggies, like spinach and red onions. Feel free to get creative!
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lg. avocado, halved, skin removed
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
- Scant 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-3 Tbsp. warm water
- 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice or 12 oz. whole wheat penne (3/4 lb or 3/4 of box)
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 Tbsp. slivered almonds
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Garlic salt, to taste
- If making rice, add 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cups rice to a medium pot. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook 40 minutes, or until rice is tender and fluffy. Set aside.
- If making pasta, place a large pot of water over high heat, and continue on until the water comes to a boil.
- For the pesto: Place garlic in food processor and process until chopped. Add avocado, spinach, lime juice, olive oil and salt. Puree, adding 1 Tbsp. of warm water at a time, if needed, until ingredients form a smooth sauce.
- If making pasta, add the penne to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- Divide rice or pasta between bowls and then divide the sauce on top. Stir to coat the rice/pasta. Top with a handful of tomatoes and slivered almonds. Add red pepper flakes and garlic salt, to taste. Serve immediately.