Avocado Sunflower Seed Pesto


By Molly Freeman

Photo by Molly Freeman.

What I love about pesto recipes is that they’re highly adaptable. Though a basic pesto often calls for pine nuts, you can substitute them out for any other kind of nut (pistachios are particularly popular, I’ve noticed) depending on what you have on hand. At the time, I only had sunflower seeds.

Additionally, for my pesto, I was trying to achieve a creamier texture than I usually found by following other recipes, which is where the avocado comes in. Dane Feldman ran an adapted version of this recipe on Dish + Drink last winter; mine is a little simpler for those that want an incredibly easy, but still classic, pesto recipe.

What you’ll need:
1 box spaghetti
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
Black pepper

Cook the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, combine the basil, avocado, sunflower seeds, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend and stir as needed until the pesto is mixed.

Drain the pasta, plate, and top with the pesto. Add extra Parmesan cheese as desired and serve.