Almost everyone is familiar with pesto – the North Italian basil sauce – but less well known is the
French version, ‘pistou’. It has the same base as pesto, but it lacks the Parmesan and pine nuts of its
This version uses avocado rather than oil to create a rich, creamy texture. Pistou is normally quite heavy on the garlic, which gives a potent taste, although you can use less if you prefer. Broccoli and french beans work great here, but you could also use asparagus or seasonal beans.
– 400g short pasta
– 300g French beans, cut in half or into thirds
– 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
– 2 large bunches of basil (each 75g), roughly chopped
– ¼ avocado
– 4–6 garlic cloves, chopped
– Juice of 1 lemon
1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in plenty of boiling water. Bring another pan of
water to the boil and add the French beans for 7–8 minutes, with the lid on. Add the broccoli after 3–4
minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, make the pistou. Put the basil, avocado, garlic, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender
or food-processor and add about 60ml of water. Process until smooth. Add some more water a
tablespoon at a time, if needed.
3. Drain the pasta and reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Combine the pasta with the vegetables,
pistou and reserved cooking water (to make the pasta creamier) and mix to evenly coat. Serve
– You can use red lentil, chickpea, rice or traditional orecchiette for the pasta. Leftover pistou is great on a sandwich with some fresh tomato and avocado slices.
Healthy vegan recipes with 7 ingredients or fewer; can it be true? Yes! Being a vegan can be easy, fun and totally delicious.
With more than 20 years’ experience in plant-based cooking, Rita Serano shows how cooking vegan doesn’t have to be complicated. She offers nourishing and delicious recipes with not a single fake overprocessed vegan burger in sight.
Vegan in 7 contains many delicious recipes that are vegan, refined sugar free and low fat.
Recipes taken from Vegan in 7 by Rita Serano. Published by Kyle Books. Photography by Laura Edwards.