Sunday, May 5, 2013

Avocado Pesto; Roasted Mushrooms and Green Beans w Balsamic & Parm

In my quest to  lighten our diet a bit, I came across a recipe for "Clean & Healthy Avocado Pesto Alfredo" on Pinterest via The Gracious Pantry. I don't know what possessed me to pin it a few months back, being that the word "avocado" alone should have been enough to make me turn away.  Yes, that's right friends: I'm a native Californian pseudo-foodie who does not like avocados. It happens.
I should say, however, that I adore guacamole, so really it comes down to disliking large slices of avocado. I can handle small chunks.

Moving on. In short, this recipe is fantastic and I would absolutely recommend it for summer! I used a bit more lemon juice, and added some parmesan to the sauce during the blending phase, but no other adjustments. 2 avocados, lemon juice, basil + one immersion blender and it is the easiest sauce ever. I think I'd add a bit more basil next time, but that is really dependent on how much one likes traditional pesto. I served it with Rossi Pasta's Wild Mushroom Linguine and our side was another Pinterest find: Roasted Mushrooms and Green Beans with Balsamic and Parmesan via Kalyn's Kitchen.

For the beans, 450F seemed like a high temp for roasting veggies, but as she says, make sure you use a large enough baking sheet so that you can spread the vegetables around--particularly for the sake of the mushrooms, which retain a lot of moisture.  The higher temp roasts the outside of the beans quite beautifully, but they retained their crunch and flavor. I reduced the cooking time to about 17 minutes.

All of this is delightfully healthy and vegetarian. If you leave the parm out of the beans and the pesto, these recipes are vegan as well (provided you don't serve the pesto with regular pasta, as I did).