With an 8 1/2 week old puppy scampering through the house needing to be let outside every 15 minutes for potty training, not much time has been left for me to be in the kitchen this week. I needed something quick with little to no cooking. I also wanted something that would take advantage of the seasonal produce at the market. I hit both marks (not to mention excellent taste and nutrition) with this recipe!
The asparagus is processed raw, so no cooking is required. I used sliced almonds instead of pine nuts and fresh flat-leaf parsley for a lemony note. One of the great things about pesto is the versatility factor. This raw asparagus pesto is a shining example. You can toss it with hot pasta for a quick weeknight meal, slather it on a crostini for a light snack or appetizer, or use it as a sandwich spread. My favorite way to enjoy this vegetable condiment is to toast a slice of country bread, spread on a nice layer of pesto, top with thinly sliced ham and some Gruyère cheese, then place a perfectly poached egg right on top. Grab your knife and fork and dig in!
Oh and the score factor-- it is a great way to sneak a vegetable into a child's diet ☺.Printable Recipe
Raw Asparagus Pesto
makes about 1 1/2 cups
Use as a sandwich spread, toss with hot pasta, or slather on a crostini.
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a food processor, process all the ingredients into a thick consistency. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. Pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Fine Cooking, April/May 2012