Avocado Pesto



flesh of 1 medium ripe avocado
¼ cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1 large bunch, or 1 tightly packed cup, fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan
generous pinch sea salt
generous grind of freshly ground black pepper

Zucchini Noodles:

8 large zucchini
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
sea salt

For Garnish: 

finely grated zest of 1-2 lemons + 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
fresh basil leaves
ground black pepper
grated Parmesan


Blend all pesto ingredients in a small food processor. Taste for seasoning adding additional salt to taste. Set aside briefly while you make your noodles.* 

Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, cut zucchini into thin strips or ribbons, discarding the seedy core.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the ¼ of the zucchini strips to the pan. Toss them in the hot oil and sprinkle a generous pinch of salt over the zucchini. Cover the pan for two minutes allowing the thin strips to steam a bit. Uncover and cook briefly until the zucchini ribbons are tender, bright and still holds their “noodle” shape, like “al dente” pasta. Transfer cooked zucchini to a serving dish, and continue cooking zucchini in batching until all zucchini is cooked.

Transfer zucchini to a large serving platter. Toss with the avocado pesto. Add lemon juice to the pasta. Stir again. Give the entire dish a generous grind of black pepper, and top with fresh basil leaves, lemon zest and Parmesan. Eat right away.

*NOTE: This pesto needs to be served right away as it browns with oxidization.

Serves 6 as a side dish