Saturday 19 August 2017

Creamy Avocado, Tomato and Pine Nut Courgetti (Vegan)

Spiralizing. Just the word gets so many people excited. The somewhat 'clean eating' trend attracts those health-conscious, carb cutters who want to feel like they're enjoying a big bowlful of pasta or noodles when in fact it's merely just a heap of vegetables. 
With this being a great source of getting even more nutritious goodness into our bodies, I have to say I'm not really a sceptic when it comes this trend (although believe me, I am when it comes to so many others!) I have been known to pull out my trusty pencil sharpener-like spiralizer many a time at in my uni kitchen when I've needed to use up an odd courgette (f.y.i my favourite of the vegetables to shed into oodles of noodles). It did get a few weird looks at first, let's face it - it's definitely not your average uni cooking kit essential, but now, as courgetti and many other neologisms are created for this veggie craze, it's becoming a lot more mainstream and that, I am happy with.
Cue my first spiralizer blog recipe! That's right, I'm hitting all the trends here and now with this one recipe, as yes, it can be vegan too. Just use a dairy-free cheese, unlike me where I'm parmesan all the way, everyday! 
The creamy cold avocado sauce is super quick and easy to make, a real time saver. Simply blitzing garlic, an avo, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice in a food processor creates a nice dairy-free alternative to your normal pasta sauce, so even if you don't fancy courgetti, swap it for some pasta and it will be equally delish. 
I didn't want to throw loads of things into the pan so I kept it pretty simple with toasted pine nuts for a bit of crunch, not forgetting they're packed high full of protein making them a great addition for those on a strict vegetarian/vegan diet. As well as some sweet vine cherry tomatoes, I could eat those things all day long. So addictive to snack on, but I guess there's much worse things I could be eating a lot of. 

Creamy Avocado, Tomato and Pine Nut Courgetti (Vegan)

Serves 2


55g (1/3 cup) pine nuts
1 leek, only the white part
Olive oil
1 large avocado, stoned and peeled
1 garlic clove
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
14 cherry tomatoes, halved
About 475g courgette, spiralized or ribbons created with a peeler (2-3 large courgettes)
A handful of grated parmesan, or dairy-free alternative if vegetarian/vegan


Heat a frying pan on a med-high heat and once hot, toast the pine nuts in the pan, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Once they have turned golden brown and start to smell more nutty, remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl for later, do this immediately as they will quickly burn.

Chop the end root off the leek, then slice into 2 where it starts to turn green, you only need the white part for this recipe. Peel back the first few outer layers of the white part of the leek and discard. Slice the leek into small rounds. Add 1/2 tsp of olive oil to the frying pan and heat, saute the leek until soft, about 5 minutes. Then transfer to a small bowl/plate. 

To make the avocado sauce, put the green flesh of the avocado in a food processor, along with a peeled garlic clove, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, seasoning to taste and the lemon juice. Blitz till a smooth, creamy consistency, taste and adjust seasoning or add more olive oil if you want it less thick. 

Heat the frying pan on a high heat, add another 1/2 tsp of olive oil and add the halved cherry tomatoes, once they start to colour on the edges and the skin shrivels add the spiralized courgette to the hot pan and continually stir, cook for a further 3-4 minutes. You don't want to cook the courgette too much, or else they will be too soft and release a lot of water. 

Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a big serving bowl. Drizzle over the avocado sauce, with the sauteed leek. Stir to coat everything, then sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and a grating of parmesan or alternative. 

Best eaten straight away as the avocado in the sauce will slowly turn brown. 

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