Recipe: Asparagus Pesto

Add a fun twist to traditional pesto with fresh asparagus.

Photo: Deanne Katz

Get your daily dose of asparagus in this yummy twist on traditional pesto.

Pesto is one of the best ways to spice up a bowl of pasta, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just basil. This recipe is a delicious alternative to the classic as well as an extra serving of veggies to go with your pasta dinner or morning toast and eggs. It’s easy to throw together, and the leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days. We are loving this recipe from Deanne Katz’s blog, Impromptu Kitchen—a yummy taste of in-season asparagus as spring kicks into high gear. Just like any pesto, this one is customizable to what you like. Less nuts, more cheese, no garlic, more lemon—taste it as you go so that you can make the pesto that you love best.

Asparagus Pesto
Serves: 1 cup

1 lb asparagus, woody stems removed (about 2-3 inches from the bottom) and spears cut into 3 inch lengths
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup parmesan
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ cup walnuts
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Fill a pot large enough to fit a steamer basket or colander inside (whatever pot you use for steaming vegetables) with about two inches of water, and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Place the asparagus in a steamer or colander and put it over the boiling water so the water doesn’t touch the vegetables. Steam the asparagus for about 10 minutes or until it is dark green and tender. Covering it will speed up the steaming process. Add the steamed asparagus to a food processor or blender with the oil, cheese, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend or process it until smooth. (You may need to work in batches if you only have a mini appliance.) When the sauce is as smooth as you want it, taste it and adjust any seasonings as needed.