Cilantro Pesto with Avocado



I love experimenting with different pestos. Traditionally, pine nuts and basil are the primary components when it comes to pesto but you can really spruce it up using other herbs and nuts! Pine nuts are very expensive so I like to use half a cup of pine nuts and half a cup of walnuts but cashews work great too. This recipe calls for equal parts basil and cilantro- a delicious combination! I also add half an avocado just for extra creaminess! It makes the pesto nice and smooth. You can do so many different things with pesto which is why I love it. This pesto is great served with pasta but you can also serve it with cheese and crackers, use it on pizza or spread it on a sandwich for added flavor!

Dietary Info: Dairy-Free option, Gluten-Free

Yield: 2 cups

Time: 10 minutes

  • 2 cups basil
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan*
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • *For a vegan recipe use 1/4 cup nutritional yeast instead.

1. First of all, I like to lightly toast the nuts on the stove before adding them to the food processor. Using a tablespoon of olive oil, toast nuts in a skillet on medium heat stirring them around for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Add nuts and chopped garlic to food processor and process for 15 seconds. Scrape sides of food processor.

3. Add fresh basil and cilantro one cup at a time to food processor and process for 10 seconds per each cup. Add the avocado and process.

4. While food processor is still running, gradually add grated Parmesan (or nutritional yeast), lemon juice, salt, pepper, water and olive oil through the feed tube. Process for about 30 more seconds or until smooth.

5. If not serving immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container. Pesto is best served within 2-3 days. Enjoy!


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