Cooking for Munchkin
Avocados seem to stay rock hard for a good amount of time and then rapidly turn mushy. Unless I’m watchful, I end up with a bunch of ripe avocados that are just about to turn brown.
Here in California, avocados are abundant and cheap, but 15 years ago in Seoul, one avocado could cost around five dollars. We only bought a couple at a time and checked their state every day. Once ripe, we ate them like a luxury condiment in sushi rolls.
Now with so many ripe avocados, I’m trying to figure out how to use them in sauces and smoothies. Munchkin is going to be 11-month old pretty soon, and I wanted to introduce nuts into her diet slowly, so I made almond pesto with avocado. Avocado turned out to be an excellent way to thin out the nut butter making it less of a choking hazard.
Perilla leaves (also called sesame leaves) are related to mint, and they are a staple in Korean cuisine. Although they have a distinct fragrance, they’re subtle than highly aromatic herbs such as mint or cilantro, and Koreans use them like leafy greens. As a result, this pesto turned out nutty and hearty with just a hint of perilla fragrance.
(About two servings for Munchkin and mom)
9 perilla leaves, 1 avocado, 2 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, juice from 1 lemon, 1/4 tsp salt, cooked pasta
a. Put all ingredients except pasta in the blender and process until fully combined.
b. Add pesto and shredded Parmesan over cooked pasta and toss to combine. I could’ve added parmesan to the pesto, but I wanted to go light on the cheese.
Next day, I roasted cherry tomatoes, peeled the skin off, and then added to the pasta. A little more work than simply tossing the pesto sauce with pasta but Munchkin enjoyed the added smokey sweetness.