Linguine with California Avocado Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

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 Linguine with California Avocado Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

In California, the spring and summer months are synonymous with warm weather, sunshine and a bountiful selection of fresh fruit and produce to enjoy. I visit the Farmer’s Market every week to find the freshest, local ingredients for our guests at Melisse and Charcoal

California Avocados are a quintessential ingredient of  “California cuisine” and one of my favorite fruits to work with during the spring and summer when they reach their peak availability. In partnership with the California Avocado Commission, I have taken a simple pesto dish and elevated it with the use of the creamy fruit to create my Linguine with California Avocado Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes recipe, spotlighting California Avocados in season.   

This dish adds a unique twist on the classic, Italian staple by complementing it with a Golden State icon – California Avocados. 

If you’re trying this at home, be sure to look for the California Avocado label while shopping for your ingredients! Or, let us make it for you! Join us at Melisse in Santa Monica or Charcoal Venice, where this dish is featured on our menus throughout the month of April. 


Linguine with California Avocado Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe


Serving Size: 4 

1 lb. linguine, cooked al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta water
2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
1 cup baby arugula leaves
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 cup basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup Cashews, toasted
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. julienned basil leaves, for serving


  1. Place cooked linguine and reserved pasta water to the side.
  2. Add the halved avocados, baby arugula, baby spinach, basil leaves, pumpkin seeds, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper to a blender or food processor and then blend until smooth.
  3. Once the pesto is smooth, add the grated parmesan and pulse a few more times to combine.
  4. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and top with the California Avocado Pesto.
  5. Toss the pasta together with the pesto until coated.
  6. Add the halved cherry tomatoes
  7. A small amount of reserved pasta water can be added to the pasta, as needed, to create a loose, silky pesto that coats the linguine evenly.
  8. Sprinkle pasta with the julienned basil leaves and serve.

Serving Suggestion: In addition to the julienned basil, you can top the dish with any remaining toasted pumpkin seeds or cashews for added texture.

Beverage Pairing: Pair the dish with a buttery Chardonnay to smooth the nutty profile of the pesto. However, grassy notes from a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc can also provide a refreshing aftertaste.

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

Chef Josiah Citrin

Chef and Owner, Melisse and Charcoal Venice

Josiah Citrin is a culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He is a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica, California’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse, Charcoal Venice, and Dave’s Doghouse at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles and Indian Wells Tennis Garden. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual.

Josiah is a brand advocate. Their content on the California Avocado Commission website and/or blog is part of their partnership with our organization.

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