Monday, 3 September 2012

The greenest avocado pesto "pasta" ever...

Recipe time me thinks.

Sorry for the long wait. After my rendition of the Elvis burger recipe left me in a state of bacon induced pleasure I've been resting up for my next post. Maybe I'll take a little break from the bacon for a little bit? I know, I know, it's not right but it won't take long till I crawl back to it's salty crispiness...

I thought about doing a salad recipe...

Hey! Don't fall asleep just yet.

I've been making salads pretty much everyday (and loving it - I never eat a boring salad. Or what I would classify as a boring salad anyway) but despite the weather being in a perfect salad crunching state, I wanted a little bit of a change. But nothing heavy. Summer is not for heavy food. Unless you are at a BBQ, in which case ignore that completely and bring on the burgers! (bun-less for me please :) I know we're now coming to the end of summer but I'm still in light meal mode. I think it'll still be a couple of weeks yet till I crack out the soups and stews.

So last night (as no exception to most summer days) I didn't feel like any heavy cooking. A dinner ready in around about 10 minutes? Sounds ideal to me. Now, salads were my immediate thought but suddenly a crazy pesto craving came out of nowhere. So that meant pasta time.

Of course, apart from the first hurdle of having no pesto in the house and little desire to run an errand for this sole purpose (this would take far longer than my ideal 10 minute target), the second minor detail of eating pasta whilst grain free is probably something to think about.

Fortunately I've had enough experience with the oooh-I-really-fancy-that...damn-I-can't-actually-eat-that-oh-:( moments to know that it's no cause to give up. To be perfectly honest, the best bit of a pasta dish is the topping anyway :D

As in my book when I use julienned cougettes with a tomato sauce, I decided to apply the same idea, this time using long strips of courgette and julienned green beans. I think these act as a perfectly neutral base for a pesto topping.

Having the base sorted, I then moved on to the main attraction. A super simple pesto. Instead of using the traditional quantities of oil and nuts as a base, I wanted to experiment a little and remembered that I've been planning an avocado pesto for a while now. Using the avocado means a fairly voluminous pesto with a creamier texture and flavour than a traditional pesto. Such a simple recipe and great for a night with only 10 minutes to spare.

(Also, I apologise for the photos this time as my julienne slicer is broken and so i ended up cutting the courgettes into rough strips. I also used already julienned green beans for this recipe.)

Green pasta with avocado pesto

Serves 2

For the "green pasta"

2 courgettes
150g runner beans
Pinch of salt
  • Julienne the runner beans and courgettes so you are left with long, thin strips (or, like I did cut the courgettes into the finest strips you can manage. You can also get pre-sliced or traditionally cut runner beans if time isn't on your side.)
  • Boil the runner beans and courgettes with a pinch of salt in a saucepan for about 2-3 minutes depending on the size of your vegetable strips and how al dente you prefer your vegtables (the great thing about using vegetables aas a base in this way is that they literally take a few minutes to cook through)
  • Once cooked through to your liking, remove the saucepan from the heat and drain the water
  • Set the vegetables to one side while you make the pesto

For the avocado pesto

1 ripe/soft avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
30g fresh basil leaves
Pinch of white pepper
Salt to taste (I use coarse sea salt and crumble this in, so if you are using a finer sea salt you will need less salt. I used just under 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt.)

  • Scoop the fleshy insides of the avocado out and place in a bowl
  • Add the basil, lemon juice, olive oil, white pepper and salt
  • Using a hand blender, blend the pesto ingredients together until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached
  • Taste the pesto, adding salt and pepper is more is needed. I always start out with less salt and add more later if I'm unsure as it's easier to add salt than take it away.)
  • Add the pesto to the vegetables and stir together to coat
  • Et voila!

P.S. You could always add some crumbled bacon to this dish.
P.P.S. Told you I wouldn't last long!

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