Summer is not my favorite season. I recognize that this is quite weird for someone who lives in Florida, where summer lasts for about 70% of the year. I prefer cardigan sweaters, hot coffee (well, that’s a year-round thing), and Halloween. Of course, there are a few good things about summer, and Ben’s garden is one of them.
In honor of this year’s garden, here is something to make if you too are overrun with basil (if you’re not, come on over). And since it’s Sunday and Sundays are for laziness, it’s very easy to prepare, too.
Avocado Pesto with Zoodles and Shrimp
For the pesto:
2 ripe avocados
3 tbsp minced garlic
2/3 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Add ingredients to food processor; pulse until well combined. This makes about 2 cups. If you end up with extra, never fear — you can freeze avocado.
For the zoodles and shrimp:
2-3 large zucchini, spiralized (I bought a cheap spiralizer here, but there definitely are better ones out there)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil, for pan
To a pan coated with olive oil, add zoodles; cook for about 3 minutes. Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until fully pink and opaque. Spoon the pesto over plates of the zoodles and shrimp.
Top with Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, and enjoy! Sun-dried tomatoes are a good thing to add to this if you have any on hand. Also, this would be great with regular spaghetti or linguine if you need the real deal.
Here’s a second “bonus” recipe for this post. This is one I make all the time, because I can throw it in the oven and go do something else for a little while. We have an oregano plant that just won’t quit, so this is a good way to help use it up.
Bonus Recipe: Turkey Feta Meatloaf with Herbs
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3/4 cup feta cheese
1 cup kale leaves, chopped and middle stem removed
1 bunch basil, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 bunch oregano, removed from stem (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup rosemary (about 3-4 small sprigs)
Add all ingredients to a bowl, combine well. Form the mixture into a loaf and place into a well-greased loaf pan. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 165 F.
And there you have it — a couple ways to get rid of excess herbs. Keep in mind, though, if you don’t have a green thumb, dried herbs would work just as well for the meatloaf. And there’s no shame ever in store-bought pesto. Ain’t nobody got time to track down pine nuts sometimes.