Salads and Dressings

Asparagus Pesto

Recipe and photo courtesy of Viviane Bauquet Farre of food & style

  • 8 oz. asparagus
  • 1 tsp. sea salt for blanching
  • 1 small bunch basil (2 oz.) – leaves removed from stalks
  • 6 parsley sprigs – tough stems removed
  •  12 mint leaves
  •  1 garlic clove – skinned
  •  2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  •  1/4 tsp. sea salt
  •  Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
  •  1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Snap the bottom of the stems off the asparagus. Cut off the tips and reserve them for another use (or use as garnish). Cut the stems in 1” pieces. You should have about one cup of asparagus pieces or 5 oz.
  2. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes and set aside. When the water is boiling, add the salt and the asparagus pieces. Boil for 2 minutes until the asparagus turn bright green and are barely tender. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water bath. As soon as they’ve cooled, place the asparagus pieces on a clean kitchen towel. Using the same pot of water, blanch the basil for 15 seconds, pushing the leaves down so that they are submerged in the boiling water. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water bath. As soon as they’ve cooled, squeeze all the water out of the leaves and place on a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Place the asparagus pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the basil in 1” pieces with scissors and add to the asparagus. Then add the Italian parsley, mint, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Parmesan and olive oil. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Time Level Yield
30 minutes   Easy   1 1/2 Cups