Grilled mushrooms and zucchini are tossed in bright basil pesto with an avocado twist and served over buttery millet in this light but substantial gluten free, vegetarian dinner that is sure to become a weeknight favourite.
When you are surrounded by piles of unshelved books and mountains of unpacked boxes it’s tempting to ‘just have something quick’ so that you can get on with the insurmountable ‘to do’ list, and forget about sitting down to a real meal. The same thing happens on busy weeks when you aren’t moving house. But in those busy moments, when it is so easy to forget about treating our bodies well, we should take a deep breath and a few moments to focus on thoroughly nourishing ourselves. Half an hour of self care can recharge your batteries and give you the energy to face down that ‘to do’ list and defeat it. That was my story last night. Instead of opting for the quick option (cheese, avocado and rice crackers) I took an hour (including 30 minutes to fuss about with photos) to myself between gym time and unpacking time to make a real meal, the first in our new house, and then I powered through our walk in robe for the rest of the night. Now, let’s talk about what fuelled my fashion foray. First, let’s talk about this pesto. This stuff is dangerously easy to eat straight from the jar. Or spread on any available edible surface. Luckily I managed to control myself and most of it ended up in dinner. I love this avocado-spiked pesto so much. It’s creamy, and smooth but still has signature basil pesto flavour. And it’s super easy to make! In the bowl of a small food processor you just whiz together avocado, almonds, lemon juice, basil leaves, salt and pepper and then stir in finely grated parmesan right at the end. How easy is that!
The pesto is the star of this dish and can save you from many a midweek dinner problem. Some more ideas for this creamy, lemony, basil-filled flavour bomb:
- Use as the dressing for potato salad
- Toss with cooked pasta for a super quick dinner
- Spread it on toast at breakfast time
- Slather it on buns with veggie burgers
- Dip your sweet potato fries in it
So many uses for this easy to prepare, bright and moreish condiment!In my midweek offering this week my amazing sauce coats hearty grilled button mushrooms and zucchini with a side of buttery millet. As soon as these photos were taken you can bet I mushed everything around so that even the millet was coated in creamy avocado and basil pesto. I just wanted to maximise the amount of pesto in my face. As soon as summer comes I am planting my own basil crop just so I can have this pesto on tap at all times! No more midweek dinner dilemmas!
Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet
Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 3 | Time: 30 minutes
Veganise it: simply leave out the Parmesan cheese for a vegan dinner!
For the omnivores: toss in some grilled chicken with your mushrooms!
- 3/4 cup dry millet
- 1 1/2 cups salt reduced vegetable stock (or water)
- 3 cups button mushrooms, halved
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped into half moons
For the Avocado Basil Pesto
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons whole almonds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup (packed) basil leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Rinse millet thoroughly in water and drain well. Place in a medium size saucepan with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. When millet reaches boiling point, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook without stirring for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove the millet from the heat and stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- While the millet is boiling, make the pesto sauce. In the bowl of a small food processor combine avocado flesh, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, and basil leaves. Puree until smooth. The thickness should be similar to mayonnaise. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if required. Stir in grated parmesan, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- On a medium non-stick grill pan (or non-stick frying pan) saute mushrooms and zucchini until cooked but still firm. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Once the vegetables are cooked toss the pesto through the vegetables.
- Divide millet between plates and top with pesto coated vegetables. Enjoy!