How to fulfill a craving for basil and garlic – Veggie Skewers with Pesto Linguini

As I was leaving work yesterday, I had the most bizarre craving for eating something super garlicky with basil.  I had Thai food for lunch, so you’d think that would have been enough – perhaps it sparked some additional need for yummy goodness. So, of course, not wanting to disappoint myself, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work to pick up some basil.  We have basil planted in the garden, but it isn’t quite ready to harvest just yet.

I decided to grill up some veggies on my handy-dandy griddle and serve it with a quick linguini with pesto.  I wasn’t in the mood for a very heavy dinner, so opted to make this a vegan option without any cheese.  It also seemed like a good idea to do in honour of Amandeep’s vegan experiment.

For the veggies, I chopped up some mushrooms, red onions and peppers and loaded them onto skewers. I lightly sprayed the griddle with olive oil and allowed them to slowly cook up while I did the rest of my cooking.  Once they were almost cooked, I did take the skewers off the griddle and poured on a quick marinade (mixture of balsamic salad dressing, chili garlic sauce and water) and put them back on the griddle on low heat.  Adding the marinade at the end saved me a lot of time since this was a last minute idea, and I didn’t have time to marinate the veggies earlier.

For the pasta, I made a quick “pesto” using the following recipe:

  • 4 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine (sometimes the mini chopper just doesn’t get the job done)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

I threw all the ingredients into my mini-chopper and added a bit of the pasta water to thin out the pesto.  I then mixed this into the cooked pasta.  I allowed this to cook together on low heat for a minute or so to allow the flavours to meld together.  In this method, the garlic remained raw, but like I said, I was craving some garlicky goodness!

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