Well, we’re neck-deep in a pretty intense heat wave here in Toronto. And judging by the long-range forecast, the heat isn’t likely to let up anytime soon. It’s hard to enjoy cooking at a time like this. Frankly, it can be hard to enjoy food in weather like this. And yet, I manage to persevere. It takes a lot to rob me of my appetite. But while the heat hasn’t affected my ability to eat, it has had a somewhat positive impact on my cravings. When it gets hot I crave all the refreshing things usually in the form of fruits and vegetables. That’s why today’s Silky Avocado Linguine with Strawberries and Tomatoes is my new favorite thing.
I’ve been making some form of this dish for a very long time. Or maybe it just feels that way because I started making it before the pandemic. You know, the before times that feel like 20 years ago. I remember coming home from shopping so desperately hot. It was almost dinner time and I really couldn’t bear to cook much of anything. I had a couple of avocados threatening to go bad on me and I almost always have garlic and pasta on hand. So they all wound up together in a deeply satisfying bowl and the rest is history.
Over the years I’ve experimented extensively with different toppings to adorn my Silky Avocado Linguine. The reason you haven’t seen this recipe before is I never felt like I got it quite right. Sure I could’ve given you the base recipe of the avocado sauce, but I wanted to present a cohesive dish. So I started to experiment with the perfect medley of cooling ingredients and this strawberry tomato number was the one I liked the best. So here it is, all grown up and blog-worthy. Let’s break this dish down, shall we?
I regret to inform you this is not an entirely no-cook dish. But I’m sure you pieced that together when you saw the word “linguine” in the title. I can promise you that the pasta is the only cooked thing in this dish. So you only have to have the stove on for the time it takes to boil water and cook pasta. It’s not so bad, I promise.
The sauce for the linguine comes together in a food processor. So there actually isn’t that much chopping involved. I like to chop all my ingredients coarsely before introducing them to the food processor just to cut it some slack. But that’s really it. The sauce features shallots, garlic, avocado (of course), lemon juice, basil, salt, and olive oil. Nothing fancy and nothing technical. And honestly, the sauce is so good I could eat it with a spoon. And if you have a bag of chips handy, try it as a dip. You won’t regret it.
Once the pasta is done, rinse it under cold water and add the avocado mixture. Toss to coat and you’re off to the races. From here, you could top your Silky Avocado Linguine any way you wish. I’ve done shaved radish, sugar snap peas, watermelon, pickled onions, shredded pecorino, mushrooms, you name it, I’ve tried it. And guess what? Nothing has sucked. This dish is a great candidate for a clean-out-the-fridge moment. It can make anything you have kicking around your crisper feel right at home. But my current favorite toppings are heirloom tomato wedges, sliced strawberries, bocconcini, cucumber, and a whisper of gochugaru. Such a great and refreshing combo and pretty to boot.
So that’s pretty much everything you need to know about this Silky Avocado Linguine with Strawberries and Tomatoes. It’s an exceptionally heatwave-friendly dish that comes together in less than 30 minutes and still manages to be very satisfying. Honestly, it’s the perfect option when you can’t bear the sight of your stove.
Silky Avocado Linguine with Strawberries and Tomatoes
- 1 Food Processor
- 454g (1lb) uncooked linguine
- 2 avocados coarsely chopped
- 3 shallots coarsely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic peeled
- ¼ cup basil leaves tightly packed
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup olive oil divided
- 2 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
- 200g (7oz) strawberries sliced
- ⅓ English cucumber julienned
- 200g (7oz) tub bocconcini drained
- gochugaru ** for sprinkling, optional
- fresh basil leaves for sprinkling
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Liberally salt the water and add the pasta. Cook according to the package's directions. Drain the pasta and rinse until cold water. Set it aside.454g (1lb) uncooked linguine
- Place the avocado, garlic, shallots, basil, lemon juice, and salt in a large food processor. Turn the food processor on and slowly stream in half of the olive oil. Blitz until very smooth.2 avocados, 3 shallots, 5 cloves garlic, ¼ cup basil leaves, 1 lemon, 1 tsp kosher salt, ½ cup olive oil
- Pour the sauce over the linguine and add the remaining olive oil. Toss to coat. Transfer the pasta to a platter and top with tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, and bocconcini. Finish with a sprinkling of gochugaru and additional fresh basil leaves if desired.2 heirloom tomatoes, 200g (7oz) strawberries, ⅓ English cucumber, 200g (7oz) tub bocconcini, gochugaru **, fresh basil leaves