We’ve recently planted a whole bunch of new goodies in our garden. Tomatoes, crookneck squash, swiss chard, lavender, strawberries, pumpkins, red bell peppers, spinach, jalapenos, and basil. Well, my husband takes care of them while I cook what we harvest. I am notorious for killing any and all plants, mostly due to the fact that I forget to water them and then over-water to make up for it. Our basil and swiss chard seem to be doing particularly well so I’ve been using them quite a bit.
But to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of swiss chard. It really needs to be the right recipe, otherwise it tastes bitter and tough or slimy (if cooked incorrect). I’ve found that a great way to use it, so that our bodies get the maximum benefit from it as well, is to blend it up. You can blend it with some sweet fruit to make a green smoothie (warning: still a bit bitter) or with basil to make a pesto.
Pestos are so convenient and delicious and most importantly, quick. You can also pretty much put pesto on any type of grain, not just pasta. Pesto with quinoa is particularly yummy. When I decided to make a pesto, I was craving something creamier, so I mashed in some avocado. The extra healthy fats were a bonus!
Note: when making a pesto, there’s honestly no set recipe. It’s up to you (and also what you have on hand) how your pesto turns out.
Smashed Avocado Pesto:
-1Ib pasta or any grain you want
-about 1 cup fresh basil leaves *throw in some swiss chard leaves or kale if on hand
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbsp lemon juice
-1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
-pinch of pepper
-scant 1/4 cup raw cashews
-1-2 small/medium garlic cloves
1. Cook pasta according to package directions or if using another grain, prepare it.
2. In a food processor, blend all ingredients except the avocado until well mixed (basil, swiss chard if using, salt, pepper, olive oil, cashews, lemon, and garlic)
3. In a separate bowl, smash the avocado with a fork until nice and creamy.
4. Mix both the pesto and the avocado with the pasta and enjoy!