Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Pesto Salad
This vegan dish benefits from the combination of ripe avocado and fresh cilantro. The avocado gives it a creamy flavor. The cilantro provides an herbal back-beat (my apologies for mixing metaphors). If you are not a fan of cilantro, substitute Italian parsley.
This recipe doubles with no problem, so it is perfect for sharing with friends and family as a side dish at potluck gatherings. This also makes a colorful and tasty lunch when served with thick slices of fresh yellow and red tomatoes.
3 cups shell pasta (Conchiglie)
1 ripe medium avocado
¼ cup cilantro (chopped fine)
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional cilantro for garnish
Boil pasta according to package directions (about 10 minutes) or until just tender (al dente). Drain, rinse well in cold water and set aside.
Slice avocado in half. Remove the pit and peel the avocado. Put in food processor together with cilantro, lime juice, Vegenaise and garlic. Blend it until it’s creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the avocado mixture to a large bowl. Add cooked pasta and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
To serve, transfer salad to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro.
See Chef Randy’s food blog for more recipes at: http://valleyvegetarian.blogspot.com