Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My asparagus supplier at the Farmers Market told me that our asparagus season here in Michigan will end in about a week.  I'm trying to squeeze in all those recipes I've been collecting to make use of those delicious spears before they are gone.

Asparagus Pesto
Pesto does not have to be composed largely of basil.  Pesto means paste and can be concocted from a variety of herbs and vegetables.  This pesto would be delicious on toasted baguette slices with a sliver of a good, ham or prosciutto.  

My inspiration and recipe is from Mark Bittman.
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch segmants
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper, salt
Juice of /12 lemon or to taste
1/2 cup packed basil leaves (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add about 2 teaspoons of salt.  Add the asparagus and cook about 8-10 minutes or until tender but not mushy.  Drain well, reserving some of the cooking liquid and let the asparagus cool slightly.
Transfer the asparagus to a food processor and add the garlic, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of the oil, Parmesan, basil, if using, a pinch of salt and a couple tablespoons of the cooking liquid.  Process the mixture stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary and gradually add the remaining oil and a bit more of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten if necessary.  Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse one last time and serve over pasta, fish or chicken(or cover and refrigerate for up to a day)
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
Tonight we had pizza, cooked on the grill with asparagus pesto, bacon and fontina cheese.  It was amazing!   Instead of pizza dough, keep it simple and use a tortilla instead.  Let your kids assemble their own pizza.  

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