The first night of my weekend is usually a treat night after munching on soups and casseroles all week.
At that usually means pizza - but last night I decided to change things up a bit by making these Avocado Pesto Breadsticks instead, with a bowl of my Fat Free Pizza Sauce for dipping.
And with leftovers to snack on during the big game today?
Warm, chewy, breadsticks smothered in an Avocado/Basil Pesto, with a generous sprinkling of my Vegan Parmesan.
Help me, I'm Vegan and I'm SO deprived 🙂
Now traditional Pesto is made from Basil and Olive Oil, so I made this a bit healthier by leaving out the oil and using an Avocado instead. I also added a handful of Kale (just for a nutrient boost) and some toasted Pine Nuts to make this extra rich and yummy.
Yes, there is a bit of fat in this recipe so it's not exactly a snack I would recommend eating every day of the week (as much as I'd like to) ..... but for parties, potlucks, or the occasional treat night?
Breadsticks and dip.
So let's get to it.
Avocado Pesto Breadsticks
The crumbly Parmesan Topping you see is simply a mixture of ground Cashews, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic Powder, and a little salt. You can find the instructions here in my Pizza Stuffed Potatoes recipe.
The dough is my traditional pizza dough I've been making for years. (Affiliate Links coming)
This makes enough dough for 2 batches of breadsticks, or 2 pizzas.
Heat 1 ½ cups of water in the microwave for about 50 seconds. Perfect temperature for proofing yeast. Now add 1 Tbls Sugar and 2 ¼ tsp of active dry yeast and let that sit for about 10 minutes or until it's nice and bubbly.
Add 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of Italian Seasoning, and then 1 cup of bread flour. Mix thoroughly. I cheat and use my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment. Add another cup of bread flour and ¾ cup of whole wheat flour.
Mix on medium speed until all the dry flour is incorporated. Cover and let that sit for 10-20 minutes.
Finally with your dough hook, mix in another ½ to ¾ cup of bread flour, until you have a nice tight dough ball.
Cover with saran wrap and a kitchen towel and place in a cold oven to rise for 1 hour.
Now here's a trick to get the right temperature for your dough to rise. Turn on your oven, any temperature will do, for just 1 MINUTE, then turn it off.
Just enough heat will build up in that minute to double our dough over the next 60 minutes.
Don't forget to turn off your oven!
While the dough is rising, we can make the Pesto.
This Pesto is super easy to make with a food processor. Just add all the ingredients and pulse until creamy. Be sure and pause occasionally to scrape down the sides of your food processor. Keep pulsing until it's smooth and creamy.
I added toasted Pine Nuts as well as they really add a nice flavor, but can be omitted if you can't find them. If you do use them, toast them in a dry frying pan for a few minutes over low heat until they start to turn brown.
Avocado Pesto Breadsticks
Once the dough has risen it's time to make our breadsticks.
On a floured surface, scrape the dough onto your work area and with floured hands, work the dough a bit, just enough so it's no longer sticky.
It should be smooth and stretchy.
Cut the dough in half and form into 2 individual dough balls. (You can save one for pizza later)
Roll out your remaining dough ball to cover a rectangular baking sheet. Parchment paper helps to avoid sticking.
Now spread a generous layer of pesto and sprinkle with the Parmesan Cheese mixture.
Bake in a 450° F oven for about 15 minutes.
Let it cool for a bit and then slice into breadsticks. (or pizza slices - whatever you like!)
I used Pizza Sauce and the leftover Pesto as a dip.
Warm, chewy Avocado Pesto Breadsticks slathered with a rich oil-free Pesto and topped with Vegan Parmesan. The perfect dipper!
- 1 ½ cups Warm Water
- 1 Tbls Sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 ¾ cups Bread Flour
- ¾ cup Whole Wheat Flour
- ¾ cup Ground Cashews
- 3 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
- ¾ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ cup Fresh Basil ((packed))
- ½ cup Fresh Kale ((packed))
- 1 large Avocado
- 3 cloves Garlic
- ¼ cup Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1 ½ Tbs Lemon Juice
- 3 Tbs Water
- 1 Tbs Vegan Parmesan Topping
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Whisk water, sugar, and yeast together
- Let sit for 10 minutes
- Using a stand mixer, slowly add yeast/water mixture, 2 cups Bread Flour, and ¾ cup Whole Wheat Flour
- Mix until no dry flour remains
- Cover and let rest 10-20 minutes
- Using Dough Hook, slowly add remaining flour until a tight dough ball forms
- Cover and let rise 1 hour in warm place
- Pulse all ingredients in food processor/blender until crumbly
- Pulse all ingredients in food processor until creamy
Avocado Pesto Breadsticks
- After dough has risen, scrape out onto floured surface
- Work dough with additional flour until smooth and elastic
- Cut in half (each ball makes 1 batch or 1 pizza)
- Can save 1 dough ball wrapped in saran for later
- Roll out remaining dough into rectangular shape
- Place on parchment lined cookie sheet
- Spread generously with Pesto
- Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F.
- Cut into breadsticks and dip with sauce of choice