April 25, 2017

Avocado and Asparagus Tartines with Basil Pesto

I went to the grocery store yesterday, for no reason other than to take a little peruse around the produce aisle. Just past the apples and behind the carrots, there, I found peas, and asparagus, and all kinds of springy things and my eyes wept a little from pure excitement. I am ready for Spring. I need it to be Spring. I need the rain to stop falling, I need to put all of my winter clothes away, I need to get a spray tan, and I need to shave my legs.

Next month, Sebastian and I are going back home for a holiday/visit. So, even if it doesn't stop raining here, I'm pretty positive that I will at least get some nice weather there. It's a tricky time of year to travel back home. Do I bring mostly pants, mostly shorts, rain boots, winter boots, sandals? I'll likely just throw everything in my closet into a suitcase and end up wearing the same two pairs of yoga pants the whole time.

I'm excited to visit with family, and new babies, and to not worry about cleaning or cooking or any other stressors. I need this time. It's going to be very exciting for my family to see Sebastian because he's all sorts of fun these days. He's getting less picky with his eating, starting to say more words, and following me around the house copying my every move. He is really good at unsupervised play, and often times I'll catch him driving his little cars around the house for hours. This morning as he left the house on his way to daycare, I waved goodbye and said 'toodles' and then he waved back and said 'toodles mama'. Having him in my life is such a joy and blessing.

Speaking of joys and blessings, today I am excited to be a part of the virtual baby shower for my blogging friends Sonja and Alex from A Couple Cooks. Last month Sonja and Alex adopted an adorable little baby boy Larson, and he is all kinds of sweetness. I am so excited for Sonja, Alex, and baby Larson. If you have a chance, you should head on over to their blog and read about their adoption story. It is so heart warming and beautiful it makes me tear up everytime I read it.

The theme for this baby shower is snacks, which is so perfect because as new parents, sometimes all you really have the energy or motivation to prepare is snacks. Well, at least that was my life. I am a big fan of things on toast - open-faced sandwiches, crostini, tartines etc. I wanted to create a recipe for Sonja and Alex that is delicious, healthy and seasonal, but mostly just an excuse to put delicious Spring ingredients on toast. Asparagus is so beautiful this time of year, so I wanted to create a recipe around it. I made some basil and pumpkin seed pesto, and drizzled it on toasted bread with asparagus, avocado, and shaved Parmesan. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did!

Thanks to Melissa and Ashley for arranging this beautiful event. I'm so grateful to be a part of such a warm and thoughtful community and so excited to be celebrating baby Larson. If you are interested in checking out some of the other recipes created for this event, I've shared the list below.

The Full Helping | Individual Strawberry Chocolate Crisps 
Snixy Kitchen | Roasted Lemon Mint Pesto Tartines, Two Ways 
This Mess Is Ours | Coriander & Lime Scented Cashews 
Making Thyme for Health | Hemp Ranch Hummus 
Two Red Bowls | Buttered Eggs on Toast, with Radish & Parsley 
Cookie and Kate | World’s Greatest Guacamole 
Dolly and Oatmeal | Sunshine Mung Bean Spread w/ Gluten-Free Za’atar Bread 
Edible Perspective | Tropical Oatmeal Snack Cookies
Eat This Poem | Red Pepper and Walnut Hummus 
Brooklyn Supper | Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce 
Gather & Dine | Muffin Tin Granola Cups with Lemon Greek Yogurt and Berries 
The Fauxmartha | Laura’s Sunshine Crackers 
FoodieCrush | Baked Beet Chips

serves 4
prep time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes

2 cups packed basil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 bunch of asparagus (15 - 20 spears)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 - 5 slices of bread
cream cheese or ricotta
1 avocado, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated

In a food processor add the basil, garlic, and pumpkin seeds and pulse until you have a thick paste.

Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while the processor is still running. Once you've added all of the oil, add the salt and Parmesan cheese and pulse until combined and smooth.

Pour the pesto into a jar and store until you are ready to use.

Wash and trim the asparagus.

In a frying pan, heat 3 tbsp water on medium heat. Add the asparagus and cover with a lid. Steam the asparagus until the water has dissolved. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and fry lightly.

Toast the bread.

Spread a generous amount of cream cheese or ricotta on the toast. Add sliced avocado, asparagus, and drizzle with the pesto. Top with salt and Parmesan cheese.

Serve right away. 


  1. those asparagus are so gorgeous! and these tartines look both nourishing and easy, which sounds about right for new parents (; also your son replying with, "toodles mama!" sounds so adorable (:

  2. Thank you SO much for these sweet words and INCREDIBLE recipe! It's so simple yet looks so sexy--the perfect kind of recipe :) Also, I am absolutely going to try this pesto! Little Sebastian is ADORABLE and I can't even handle the cuteness of him saying "toodles, Mama!" I'm so excited for the months and years ahead to see Larson grow too -- and to be able to learn from you as an experienced mama :) Sending love and grateful hugs!

  3. I'm not much of a fan of asparagus, but my sister told me I had to try this. And, surprisingly, this was incredibly tasty! I really like the mix of ingredients, they go super well together. Thank you for posting the recipe!

  4. So glad I'm not the only one who gets a little overwhelmed with joy while shopping for produce. A snack-themed party sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate a new baby. And that pesto sounds so, so incredible!

  5. Anonymous01 May, 2017

    I made this earlier today and just had to tell you how much we really liked this. this may be old hat to you but I am reading about cooking and trying to be adventerous and perfect my cooking skills. I'm so glad I did because this was truly great (here's the book I used to get better cooking skills: How to Cook: An Easy Guide to Cooking Techniques. It's free and great so that was a big help to the me!)

  6. This looks amazing! I've had trouble with preparing asparagus in the best but will definitely give it another shot! Thanks for this :)