Asparagus Pesto Recipe

This Asparagus Pesto Recipe is the perfect springtime accompaniment to chicken, steak, pasta and more.

| January/February 2014

  • With its bright, rich flavor, this Asparagus Pesto Recipe is a great accompaniment to pan-roasted chicken breast.
    Photo By Sarah Sinning

6 Easy Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus Pesto Recipe

Everyone knows the traditional basil pesto, that beloved sauce of the summer garden. But what if you get a hankerin’ for garden-fresh pesto in early spring? Well, rather than pine away for an ingredient that’s still months away, why not get creative and replace it with what you do have? Asparagus, it turns out, is a wonderful substitution for basil in this classic sauce.

Yields 4 to 6 servings

Kosher salt
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed and tender tips cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano is ideal)
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Bring large pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt water liberally. Remember, the rule of thumb when cooking pasta or blanching vegetables is to make your water as salty as the sea. Add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove asparagus to prepared ice bath — ice water in large bowl — to stop cooking process.

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