Asparagus Pesto

Posted By Kerri

I had no idea if this was going to work, partly because I’ve never seen asparagus pesto before and partly because my previous experience of trying to make pesto in our Tragimix (or Mini Magimix to give it it’s real name) was very trying. We had about eight stems of very tired looking asparagus lurking in the fridge that I was loathe to throw out. Stephen had bought a bunch for his Thursday night pasta and these were left over. The asparagus season is so short that it seems a shame not to make the most of it while it’s available. So, buoyed by a glass of wine, I decided to give it a shot.

I steamed the asparagus until they were quite soft (to give the Tragimix a fair start), toasted some pine nuts, roasted some garlic and tore up some basil. When the steaming and toasting was complete, I threw the asparagus and the pine nuts into the blender, switched it on and crossed my fingers and toes. It seemed to be working so I bravely added the basil and some oil. At this point I realised that I hadn’t grated any cheese and the garlic was still in the oven. I turned the blender off while I retrieved these vital ingredients and again crossed my fingers that I would be able to get the blender to go back on. My planets must have been aligned because it happily started whirring again allowing me to add the cheese and basil.

When it seemed fairly well combined, I turned the machine off and put a spoon in to taste…not only had the Tragimix finally completed a whole task but the resulting dish tasted really good! One of the reasons I like making my own pesto (apart from using up random-fridge-items) is that you can vary the quantities to suit your own taste. I love, love, love pesto but rarely eat it because the combination of oil, cheese and nuts often gives me heartburn. For that reason, I tend to use more green stuff and less of the oily stuff. It also makes me feel virtuous, I’m practically just eating vegetables aren’t I?

So, no specific recipe but about eight spears of asparagus, 30g of pine nuts, three stems of basil, s&p, one clove of garlic (I forgot to mention that I roast this before blitzing because I don’t like the harshness of raw garlic in pesto), a tablespoon of oil and [vague] some [/vague] parmesan.

We used some of the pesto for dinner this evening with some interesting troife pasta and some roasted tomatoes. The pasta was odd though in that it cooked rather unevenly, some was perfectly al-dente while some remained hard. Perhaps it just needed a longer cooking time overall.

Jun 1st, 2008

5 Comments to 'Asparagus Pesto'

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  1. Jules said,

    We’ve always got asparagus in the house at the moment and the basil plant has gone mad so this would be a fantastic way of using up asparagus.

  2. Kerri said,

    If you do try it Jules then I’d suggest oomphing it up a bit, while it tasted quite strong in it’s orignal state it lost a fair amount of flavour when mixed with the pasta. Perhaps increase the basil.

  3. Stephen said,

    Or just put loooaaads of it onto the pasta 🙂

  4. nile said,

    I replace most of the oil in my home made pesto with lemon or lime juice as I don’t like it too oily (also the reason I never buy pesto!!)

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