Asparagus Pesto

This puree is great to have on hand. It makes an excellent sauce for broiled fish or for pasta or ravioli, or a poached egg on an English muffin. With added cream and seasoning, it’s also perfect as a warm soup. It is not thick, but loose and light. To make this pesto more robust, add ⅓ cup pine nuts to the food processor. Save the asparagus cooking water and ends or peels for Asparagus Stock (recipe follows).

Photography By Ben Fink | April 19, 2018

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed (as described in the text above)
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt

Preparation

Cut the asparagus in large pieces and place them in a large pot. Add just enough water to barely cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and boil the asparagus gently until they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes for slender asparagus, longer for thick ones. Reserving the cooking water, drain the asparagus.

Place the asparagus in a food processor along with ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and the garlic. Add the pine nuts, if using, the oil, lemon juice and salt to taste and pulse to combine. If necessary, add a bit more cooking water to get a smooth pesto.

The asparagus pesto holds in the freezer for 8 to 12 months. Add salt and pepper as you use the pesto (seasoning loses its oomph when frozen).

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed (as described in the text above)
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
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