Friday, 31 May 2013

Asparagus Pesto

More asparagus! Our garden asparagus is over, but there still seems to be plenty available in the markets.

I really like this fairly mild take on pesto.  Since it is so mild, I slather it on and the two of us eat it all, but it could stretch to four servings. I also really like it with buckwheat (soba) noodles, but whatever pasta you like should be fine.

2 to 4 servings
30 minutes prep time

Asparagus Pesto

500g (1 pound, plus) asparagus
1/2 cup sunflower OR pumpkin seeds
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 cup packed fresh arugula
2 tbsps packed parsley leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
the juice of 1/2 lemon
100 grams (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Wash and trim the asparagus. Cut of the tips, and set them aside (about 1 1/2" pieces). Steam the asparagus stems until they are very tender, about 6 minutes.

Rinse the asparagus in cold water and drain it well. Chop it roughly and add it to the food processor, along with the sunflower or pumpkin seeds, salt, arugula, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Process until the mixture is completely pureed. You will likely need to scrape down the sides a couple of times.

Taste the pesto and adjust any of the flavours as you like. Bear in mind that it will taste much more intense without noodles. If you spread a bit on a small piece of bread, it will be easier to assess.

The pesto can be used at once or kept sealed in the refrigerator for 24 hours. I heat it in the microwave for 3 minutes before tossing it with cooked pasta, but you could reheat it in a pot - stir frequently. Serve it tossed with pasta - about 125 grams per serving, before cooking - and top with some crumbled feta cheese.

Last year at this time I made Asparagus with Brown Butter.

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