Homemade pesto is a great way to incorporate heart-healthy leafy greens and unsaturated fats into your diet. While traditional pesto typically calls for a combination of garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and basil, I wanted a lighter, more refreshing flavor that would be fitting for the warm weather. By starting with avocado and lemon juice and adding arugula for a peppery kick, I was able to create a creamy, nutritious spread perfect for topping bean burgers or mixing with vegetable-grain salads at your next cookout. With leftover whole wheat rotini in my fridge, I decided to stir the pesto into a mixture of pasta and sweet peas for an easy weeknight dinner. As you can see, the options for using your pesto are endless. What is your favorite way to enjoy it?
Avocado-Arugula Pesto (served with whole wheat rotini and sweet peas)
Yield: 5 servings
◦1 large avocado, sliced
◦1 ½ cup arugula, chopped
◦2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
◦1 teaspoon lemon juice
◦1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
1. Place all ingredients in food processor, and blend to puree.
2. Use to top homemade bean burgers, toss in a vegetable and grain salad, or stir into whole wheat pasta.