Avocado, Tomatillo, Pine Nut, and Parsley Pesto
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Pesto gets a New World makeover when both avocados and tomatillos are used in place of the traditional basil and cheese. The result? Creamy and robust with layers of flavor, this green sauce is equally good hot or cold. It’s perfectly pareve and an ideal partner for everything from pasta to potatoes, from frittatas to French fries. It’s also pretty darn good over a tamale or with tortilla chips!
4 small tomatillos, papery husks and stem end removed
½ small red onion, peeled and cut in eighths
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half, green centers discarded
¼ cup Roasted Vegetable Stock, or storebought low-sodium vegetable stock or water
⅓ cup pine nuts
½ medium bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe Hass avocados
¼ cup avocado oil, or mild olive oil
- Cut the tomatillos in quarters. Place the tomatillos, red onion, and garlic in a medium saucepan, add the stock, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatillos are softened.
- Bring a blender or food processor close to the stove. With a ladle, carefully transfer the mixture to the blender or food processor. Add the pine nuts, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Peel, pit, and slice the avocados (see Kitchen Tip) and add to the blender or food processor. Blend or process until the parsley is completely broken down and the avocados are smooth and creamy. You might have to stop the machine and scrape the sides down a few times.
- With the blender or processor running, drizzle in the oil through the feed tube until it is nicely blended in and the mixture is emulsified and smooth. It is ready to serve, but it will still be warm. You can refrigerate it in a covered container with a layer of plastic wrap sitting directly on the surface to prevent browning. It can be chilled and used for about 8 hours. It may turn grey a tad, but I have found that it stays green remarkably well!
The avocado contains a large round pit that can be awkward to remove. Here is one way that is especially good if you need to slice it: With a sharp knife, cut around the avocado lengthwise (you won’t be able cut straight through because of the pit). With a hand on each half, twist the halves in opposite directions to detach them. The pit will still be firmly attached to one side. Carefully dig the blade (not the tip) of your knife into the pit and twist to remove the pit. Peel and slice the avocado. If you will be holding the avocado for any length of time, acidulate the flesh with a little lemon or lime juice to prevent it from turning brown when exposed to the air.