Asparagus Pesto

Do any of you ever dream up recipes? Well this is one of those for me. I remember seeing a plate of salmon steaks topped with a green pesto, but that’s not far fetched for me because I spread basil pesto on just about everything. It’s really good on chicken. But my husband would probably eat shoe soles if they were schmeared with any of my home-made pestos.

But this one was different, because in my dream I realized that it was a pesto made with asparagus. I woke up and realized that this pesto was something I’d really have to follow through on, because it sounded so unique. It helps, of course, if you love asparagus.

I tend to serve fresh, springtime asparagus either steamed or roasted. I don’t get too carried away with fancied up recipes, because I really like treating something like asparagus, at its peak of ripe perfection, very simply. It’s my same attitude I have with fresh fish. If it’s really good quality fish, I do very little to it. I just really want to taste the fish.

But back to asparagus, the idea of the asparagus pesto really stuck with me. Here’s the recipe I created:

Asparagus Pesto
Makes about 12 ounces

1/2 cup whole almonds, about 2 1/2 ounces
6 ounces asparagus
1/3 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Toast the almonds in a cast-iron skillet. I think a little toasting adds more of the almond flavor. Set them aside to cool.

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Meanwhile, remove the ends of the asparagus spears and place the 6 ounces of asparagus in a steamer basket.

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Steam until tender, about 5-6 minutes over boiling water. Then place them on paper towels to drip dry.

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Don’t throw away the asparagus ends. If you want a really enriched asparagus soup, use the ends to make an asparagus stock, that you then can use it in the asparagus soup. I have a recipe here that describes the process.

In a blender jar, place the cooled almonds, the olive oil, and garlic.

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Blend until smooth. Add a little more olive oil if necessary, but you don’t want your pesto too thin.

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Add the asparagus, salt, and lemon juice. Notice I didn’t include Parmesan in the recipe.

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Process until the pesto is smooth.

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So just like in my dream, I spread some of the delicious pesto on two salmon steaks and baked them.

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The pesto is fairly mild, but it baked up beautifully and held its shape. It was really good with the salmon.

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But just wait! Tomorrow I have another recipe using the asparagus pesto!

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