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Asparagus Pesto/Spread

April 7, 2011

During the week I happened to pick up a gorgeous bunch of asparagus at Trader Joe’s.

Today when I woke up, I knew I had to make something with it.

I hate when asparagus is out of season and all that is available are those pitiful, skinny looking stems.

These were quite the contrary.  Thick, but not too thick, where I would have to peel them.

I decided to do something different and make an asparagus pesto/spread.

It’s so easy to make and the ingredients are super simple and fresh!

I snapped one of the stems of asparagus to roughly gauge how much to trim off.

Then I just measured my one trimmed asparagus to the rest of the bunch and cut them around the same size.

I saved the ends to make something else out of it.

Maybe some soup is in my near future.

Once the asparagus is trimmed, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Once boiling, drop the asparagus in the pot.

Get an ice water bath ready….

After about a minute or two, remove the asparagus and dump them into the ice water bath.

You want to shock them so they keep their beautiful, green color.

In the meantime I toasted some chopped hazelnuts.

They smelt delicious.

I got all my other ingredients together and then popped them all into the Vitamix.

I probably could have done this in a food processor, but I was drawn to the Vitamix today.

In under a minute, I got this :

Love the color!

It’s definitely got the ingredient list of a pesto, but looks more like a spread or dip.

But I like the way asparagus pesto sounds.

There are so many ways to use this.

It’s perfect for dipping things like crackers, vegetables, etc.

I think it would also be awesome as a spread on a sandwich or wrap.

I’m almost positive that I am going to use it in my dinner tonight.  I’m thinking pasta with chicken sausage, veggies and this as a sauce type of deal.

Call me crazy, but I think it would be good. 🙂

It’s also crazy how these little stems, produced something so flavorful!

Oh and because I like you guys so much, I actually am going to include the recipe. YES, a recipe.

Asparagus Pesto/Spread

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Asparagus

3 Garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Salt and Black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup Hazelnuts, chopped

1 Tbsp. Lemon zest

Lemon juice, 1/2 of 1 lemon

 

Method of Preparation:

1. Trim the asparagus.

2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and get a ice water bath ready.

3.  Drop trimmed asparagus into the boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until just tender.  Then shock them in the ice water bath.

4.  In a pan, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant and light brown.

5.  Gather and prep the garlic, lemon zest and juice, parmesan cheese, etc.

6.  In a blender or food processor, Combine all of the ingredients.  Blend on high for about 30 seconds, stopping to give it a scrape or stir if needed.  Blend for another 15 seconds or until desired consistency.  Check for seasonings and adjust as necessary.

Notes:

** If you can’t have cheese, substitute with nutritional yeast!

** You can use any type of nut you want.  Walnuts or pine nuts would be perfect for this as well.

** If you like garlic, stick to the 3 cloves. If you don’t like it as strong maybe cut it down to 1 1/2 -2 cloves. You can always add more but you can’t take it out!

 

Hope you guys like the post and recipe.  Be sure to let me know if you try it out!

Enjoy the rest of this gorgeous Thursday! 🙂

Vanessa

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2011 6:30 pm

    Um… yes please!! I like you posting recipes! They sound so good!

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