Taking a basic recipe and putting a new twist on it, is what I love to do. By changing one or two ingredients you can make a completely new recipe. This is a super simple, quick recipe you can make in less than 5 minutes. Pesto is not something I have very often. It’s one of those things that I don’t have for awhile, then I have it and remember how awesome it is. Pesto is very versatile. You can use it on shrimp, chicken, pasta, zucchini noodles, maybe even on bread?
This time I paired it with zucchini noodles and ground turkey kielbasa. This dish came together by complete accident. We were having a friend over for dinner. I had this amazing idea for dinner, zucchini noodles with pesto and turkey meatballs. Sounds fantastic. I probably should have checked the fridge before I made this decision. The turkey went bad, we had barely any parmesan cheese, and I put the spiralizer somewhere I couldn’t find. What to do… I used my mandolin to cut the zucchini noodles as I would if I were making lasagna. Then I cut them into thin strips, resembling fettuccini. Next, I took turkey kielbasa out of the casing, and used it just like I would ground turkey for meatballs. Except, they completely fell apart. I ended up just browning it like I would ground turkey for tacos. They became golden brown and crispy, it turned out way better than I anticipated.
Pesto is very basic: basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. The first four ingredients, you can’t mess with those. All are included in my recipe. I added 3 ingredients to make this elevated. I chose to use pistachios instead of pine nuts, it’s what I happened to have on hand. I used an entire avocado for creaminess, which then lowered the amount of olive oil I used. The last thing I added was lemon thyme. This gave it a little brightness and cut the fat of the avocado a little bit. Turned out delicious! I can’t wait to make it again and try it with chicken or shrimp.
Avocado Basil Pesto
4 Servings – 5 min. prep
2 C basil
4 sprigs lemon thyme
½ cup grated parmesan
1/4 C pistachios
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients into a food processor, except the olive oil. Start the food processor and slowly drizzle the olive oil in. Keep adding until you get the consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper at the end
- If you are using a blender, add all ingredients, including the olive oil. Pulse until you get the consistency you like
- Add to whatever dish you are making!