pesto1Pesto is an all time favorite, especially during the summer months when basil and other herbs or dark leafy greens are super fresh and plentiful. One of the things I love about pesto is that a spoonful contains probably a handful or more of nourishing greens shrunken and disguised into the delectable sauce.

Years ago, when I gave up dairy and made pesto without cheese, I was shocked at how good it tasted. Confident that the missing ingredient didn’t destroy it’s deliciousness, I even shared the recipe while teaching a cooking class. Everyone was shocked that it tasted so good without the cheese – they didn’t miss it one bit!

Then I began experimenting with different herbs and nuts making all kinds of yummy pesto recipes.

Most recently, I had to cut garlic out of my diet; so I’ve been playing with new ideas for pesto “sans” garlic and cheese. On Instagram, I saw a post by Deliciously Ella for avocado pesto, and decided to try my own version of it. I was amazed at how good it turned out! It is now my all time favorite pesto. Best of all, the pesto stayed green for days (unlike guacamole which turns brown so quickly).

pesto2Pesto is a treat roasted on top of fish and tossed with pasta, chicken, or eggs, or sandwiches and soups. Really what doesn’t pesto go with?

I tossed the pesto with gluten free lentil pasta and topped it with some fresh mint, it was to die for! Have some fun with it and share your favorite pesto ideas in the comments below 🙂

Avocado Pesto

1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups raw spinach or basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2-4 tablespoons water
Juice of one lemon
Sea Salt
Fresh mint for garnish

Place cashews in bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until chopped to a medium fine consistency. Add spinach or basil and pulse a few times until chopped and incorporated with chopped cashews. Peel avocado and remove pit. Add avocado, water, and lemon juice. Pulse a few times until combined. Then turn on the food processor and pour oil in a slow steady stream. Add more water if needed and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. YUM!