Spring Asparagus Pesto

I’m on roll with the asparagus recipes, what can I say – it is one of my favorite vegetables and is in season now.

Pesto literally means paste. It is traditionally prepared by crushing pine nuts and garlic in a mortar and pestle, then adding basil, salt and olive oil. I prefer walnuts (and the use of a handy dandy food processor). While this recipe uses asparagus you can also experiment with basil, cilantro, arugula or throw in a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes if you are in the mood for spicy. Try this over pasta, baked potatoes or steamed veggies for a quick and easy meal.

Asparagus Pesto

  • 1lb of fresh asparagus
  • Ice bath (large bowl in the sink filled with a few ice cubes and water)
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse the asparagus and snap off the woody ends.

2. Steam asparagus stalks for 5 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and fork tender. Remove from heat and plunge into ice bath. Chill for a few minutes, then strain.

3. Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse. Add the garlic, cheese and asparagus and pulse again. Slowly add the olive oil and pulse until blended. Add salt a pepper to taste and pule a few more times. Go easy on the salt as the cheese will be salty to begin with.

Store in the fridge for up to a week.