Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad with Creamy Pesto

This one is for all my cross fit, marathon running, barre tucking, super fit healthy, amazing friends out there.  You know who you are!  This salad is the epitome of clean eating without giving up any bit of flavor.  I used organic cherry tomatoes at the peak of the season, which really is the basis for the burst of flavor you’ll experience in every bite.  The addition of garbanzo beans, which I happen to love, adds protein and makes this different from just any old tomato and cucumber salad.  But the real indulgence is the creamy pesto with fresh grated parmesan, basil, garlic, and olive oil.  I added in a bit of mayonnaise to make the consistency a bit creamier than a regular pesto and it works really.  You can store the extra pesto in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week and use the extra on grilled chicken or sandwiches or even tossed with some fresh grilled veggies! 
Pesto

1.  In the bowl of a food processor combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil and mayonnaise. Pulse to combine until the basil and garlic are well chopped.  Add in the olive oil and mayonnaise and pulse until well blended.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Best if brought to room temperature before serving.

Salad

1.  Gently combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and then fold in a few tablespoons of the pesto.  Plate and top with a few more dollops of pesto.  Garnish with fresh basil.

Creamy Pesto

1 large clove garlic

¼ cup pine nuts (lightly roasted)

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil

2 teaspoons lemon zest and juice

Pinch red pepper flakes

1/3 cup extra virgin Olive oil

¼ cup  mayonnaise

½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

*yields approximately 1 cup pesto.  Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

 

Salad

 1 pint cherry heirloom tomatoes cut in half

1 cup cucumber, chopped (seeded and peeled)

1 ripe avocado, diced

¾ cup garbanzo beans

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

Sea salt & Pepper to taste

 Serves 6

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Comments