Asparagus and Basil PestoApril 05, 2013
Growing up, asparagus was not exactly that high on my Favorite Green Vegetables list . It usually came from a can, was stringy and had a slightly metallic taste. It wasn't until well after college that I started discovering treats such as grilled asparagus wrapped with prosciutto....when the cured ham makes a crispy shell around the outside and lets its meaty flavors ooze all through the stalk. Since then, I've become a huge fan of both grilled asparagus and roasted asparagus, and am always on the hunt for new ways to prepare it. Such as making it into a pesto....
The Rise of Pesto
|Toasting Pine Nuts in a Skillet|
When to find great asparagus
About the Asparagus Pesto Recipe Ingredients
- 1 pound Asparargus
- 1 cup Fresh Basil, leaves packed
- 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan (optional)
- Cook the asparagus (either by boiling or steaming) for about 8-10 minutes until it turns bright green and the stem end can just be pierced with a fork. It should still be firm, that is, you shouldn't really be able to pinch it easily. If so, it's mushy - you've cooked it too long
- At the same time you can toast your pine nuts. Rub a very light coating of Olive Oil (not Extra Virgin, it will smoke) in a pan set to medium and toast the nuts for about 10 minutes as well. They should brown evenly, but will be noticeably darker on two sides. You can also do this in a toaster oven. Watch them closely! They can rapidly go from toasted to burnt.
- Place the garlic in the food processor first and pulse it a few times until the garlic is chopped
- Add the asparagus, basil, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan and lemon juice. Run the processor for about 30 seconds and then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Check the flavor and add salt & pepper (or other ingredients) as needed. Run the processor again until you feel it is fully mixed.
Blissfully Domestic's "13 Perfect Asparagus Recipes for Spring", April 2013
Family Balance Sheet's "20 Ways to Cook Asparagus", April 2013