Asparagus is great with Hollandaise sauce, or oven roasted, or just steamed; but I was very open to trying it in a different way. Southern Living has again come to my rescue. Get ready for spring with this wonderful new recipe from their March issue.
The pesto can be used for pasta, or as a spread on crostini. And how about using it as a sandwich spread, in place of mayo?
The original recipe is on the Southern Living website. If you go there, be sure to also check out their recipe for Roasted Orange-Ginger Asparagus and Fresh Pistachio Vinaigrette. The vinaigrette can be used as a drizzle over grilled asparagus, or over grilled salmon or other meat.
I made a half-batch, to try the recipe out. Since I didn’t have any pine nuts, I decided to use toasted walnuts. Whole wheat pita was brushed lightly with olive oil and baked at 400F for 5 minutes, till toasty, then cut into triangles. My plan was to just taste one triangle. A heaping tablespoonful of pesto went on top of one triangle, then some roasted red pepper pieces and about a tablespoonful of chopped cooked chicken. It was so delicious that I decided to just have one more triangle…..till I ate it all. Every bite was savored. The flavors of this pesto are so balanced that there is no predominant flavor – it all just blends together into this fresh, light taste that screams, “Spring!”
One last word: I hope you have a small food processor for this. My Braun has been indispensable, and though I get no compensation for saying this, I heartily recommend the Braun. It’s not just an immersion blender. The attachments, like the mini-food processor, have come in so very handy. Easy to clean, easy to use, and one of my most-loved kitchen appliances.
|Asparagus Pesto |
Adapted Half-Batch, from Southern Living
Rating: 10 out of 10
|INGREDIENTS: 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus |
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (or pine nuts, if preferred)
1/4 cup good-quality olive oil (I used Colavita Frutatto)
1/2 garlic clove
1-1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (not from a bottle, please)
1/4 tsp. sea salt, or to taste (I used Celtic fine ground – excellent flavor)
Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cook asparagus in boiling water to cover 3-4 minutes or till crisp-tender; drain.
Plunge asparagus into ice water to stop cooking process; drain again. Coarsely chop.
Place all ingredients in work bowl of mini-food processor.
Pulse 30 seconds to 1 minute, or till smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Refrigerate till needed. Yield: about 1 cup