Avocado Hemp Seed Pesto

Avocado Hemp Seed Pesto

Current obsession: avocado.

Avocado season (in California) runs from spring to fall, which means avocados are super delicious and readily available, starting NOW!

Fun Fact: California grows 90% of the Haas avocados in America, and San Diego County grows 40% of that 90%! (source).

My main goal in life is to own an avocado tree.

One tree can grow HUNDREDS of avocados each season. Yaaaas. That’s what I’m talking about.

For reals, I will never get bored of avocado!

My latest experiments in the kitchen have been using creamy luscious avocado as a fat source in recipes.

For example, traditional pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and high quality olive oil. But you can totally replace that olive oil with avocado!

The results are creamy pillowy clouds of deliciousness. Almost alfredo-esque. It’s a clear win in my book!

I almost never make pesto with pine nuts anymore. They’re so freaking expensive!

Pretty much any nut works in their place. I happened to have a bag of hemp hearts in my fridge (love adding them to smoothies, smoothie bowls, and oatmeal). Their clean grassy flavor goes so well with creamy avocado.

Avocado pesto is great for a busy weeknight.

Toss all the ingredients into a mini food processor and press the button. Ready in like 1 minute! Simply boil some pasta and you’re good to go.

My favorite part is that you can easily make this recipe vegan.

Simply omit the parmesan cheese or replace it with nutritional yeast. Both add a savory tone, which I enjoy, but the pesto is still delicious without any cheese or nutritional yeast at all!

The secret to elevating this dish from good to GREAT is the finishing touches.

After plating each serving, drizzle with high quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with flaky Maldon sea salt, cracked black pepper, and extra cheese (if desired). The flaky sea salt & olive oil make each bite POP with flavor. So yum.

Avocado Hemp Seed Pesto

Avocado Hemp Seed Pesto
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Servings: 4
Author: Erica Julson
Ingredients
  • 3/4 lb dried fettuccine pasta
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional), plus extra for serving (optional) (or replace with nutritional yeast, if desired)
  • Maldon sea salt, for serving
  • High quality extra virgin olive oil, for serving
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside, drizzling and tossing with a little olive oil to prevent sticking while it sits.

  2. Add the avocado, garlic cloves, basil, hemp seeds, salt, lemon zest and juice, ground black pepper, and parmesan cheese (if desired) to a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine, then blend steadily until smooth.

  3. Portion the pasta into bowls, top with avocado pesto sauce and stir to combine. Drizzle with high quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with flaky Maldon sea salt and ground black pepper, and top with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy right away!

  4. If you have leftovers, drizzle the top of the pesto with extra lemon juice and olive oil to create a protective coating to slow browning/oxidation of the avocado.

Recipe Notes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside, drizzling and tossing with a little olive oil to prevent sticking while it sits. Add the avocado, garlic cloves, basil, hemp seeds, salt, lemon zest and juice, ground black pepper, and parmesan cheese (if desired) to a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine, then blend steadily until smooth. Portion the pasta into bowl, top with avocado pesto sauce and stir to combine. Drizzle with high quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with flaky maldon sea salt and ground black pepper, and top with extra parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy right away! If you have leftovers, drizzle the top of the pesto with extra lemon juice and olive oil to create a protective coating to slow browning/oxidation of the avocado.

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