Mary Beth Clark

Culinary Educator · Consultant · Author

Avocado Pesto

Avocado Pesto is becoming a classic pesto alongside all versions of herb pesto and is just as versatile. Begin with ingredients for making fresh basil pesto then add avocado pulp. So easy to make, this is a raw, no-cook sauce. It is ideal for pasta and spiralized zucchini, as a sandwich spread or substitute for mayo, or topping cooked chicken breast, shrimp, or tempeh…anything your imagination dreams up.

Avocados are one of nature's Super Foods. (Click for information:  

Makes 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) sauce. 4 servings for 1 pound dry pasta or 2 1/2 pounds spiralized raw zucchini; 6 servings as a spread for burgers and sandwiches.

Avocado Pesto:
1 medium bunch of fresh basil (Volume: 1/2 cup or 118 ml of packed leaves)
2 teaspoons (0.2 ounces or 6 g) pine nuts
1or 2 small garlic cloves
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime or lemon juice (2 medium limes or lemons)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
2 small avocados (12 ounces or 340 g total weight; peeled and seeds removed = 8 ounces or 227 g = 1 cup or 235 ml volume)

Pesto Ingredients: Either hand chop or process in a machine. Rinse fresh basil under cool running water and drain. Separate the leaves from the stems. Discard the stems or save for another use.Combine the fresh basil leaves with the pine nuts, garlic, and salt. Chop finely and stir well or process by machine. Pour in the fresh juice and oil and stir well or process to emulsify. Cut the avocados in half. Scoop out the pulp from the avocados and add it to the basil mixture. Vigorously stir by hand or process until emulsified. (Remove the avocado seeds and discard, or immerse the seed bottoms in water to germinate, then place in soil to grow your own avocado plant.)

Texture: Make Avocado Pesto as rustic and coarsely chopped to as refined and emulsified as you like.
By Hand: Chopping by hand controls the texture the best, especially for the more rustic style.
By Food Processor with metal chopping blade, Handheld Immersion Blender, or Stand Blender: This is the most popular method for making the sauce.

To store for a few days in the refrigerator: Spoon avocado pesto into a bowl and level its surface. Squeeze 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lime juice over the top of the sauce (save from above recipe). Press down plastic wrap directly onto the pesto's surface so oxygen does not come in contact, then wrap tightly and chill to maintain its bright olive-green color.


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