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 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.


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


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


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.


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


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


Process until the pesto is smooth.


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


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


By Published On: March 31st, 201419 Comments on Asparagus Pesto

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. anyone4curryandotherthings March 31, 2014 at 8:22 AM - Reply

    Hm Mimi, this combination sounds…. interesting. Certainly worth trying, even thou I can not get Salmon in my part of the world.

    • chef mimi March 31, 2014 at 8:25 AM - Reply

      Oh really? That’s so sad. Of course, what I get is frozen, but it’s not bad.

  2. sallybr March 31, 2014 at 9:20 AM - Reply

    To me, salmon and asparagus are a match made in heaven, and of course, asparagus pesto is a winner of a recipe too!

    great post, Mimi!

    • chef mimi March 31, 2014 at 10:24 AM - Reply

      I was truly amazed at how good it is!!!

  3. Heather @ Sweet Precision March 31, 2014 at 12:13 PM - Reply

    What a fun twist on pesto! I’ve just started noticing asparagus popping up in the grocery store and it’s one of my favorite spring veggies. I bet it is fantastic on top of salmon!

    • chef mimi March 31, 2014 at 12:27 PM - Reply

      I just had it again for lunch. It’s really amazing together!!! which isn’t surprising…

  4. Looks delicious! I love the asparagus with the salmon, nice combination.

    • chef mimi March 31, 2014 at 5:55 PM - Reply

      It is a lovely combination, isn’t it?!!!

  5. Bam's Kitchen April 1, 2014 at 4:31 AM - Reply

    Fun post and brilliant idea. Why not asparagus? I can’t wait to read what your making else with your asparagus pesto.

  6. mycookinglifebypatty April 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    Very nice! I love that you roasted the almonds and didn’t put cheese in it.

    • chef mimi April 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM - Reply

      When I make pesto to freeze, I never add cheese. But when made fresh , I still like to control the amount of cheese. I really wanted the asparagus to shine in this pasta!

  7. StefanGourmet April 1, 2014 at 4:15 PM - Reply

    I’ve done pureed asparagus on pasta but never mixed it with almonds and garlic. I’d worry one wouldn’t be able to taste the asparagus. I’ll have to try something similar, thanks for the idea.

    • chef mimi April 1, 2014 at 6:33 PM - Reply

      You taste all of the ingredients. I purposely didn’t add much garlic so as not to overwhelm the asparagus. But the almond flavor is significant as well.

  8. ladyredspecs April 1, 2014 at 4:45 PM - Reply

    Delicious idea!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Michelle April 1, 2014 at 8:51 PM - Reply

    Nice! I’m looking forward to the garlic scapes and peas, which also make great pesto. Of course, I’m looking forward to almost everything spring-related.

    • chef mimi April 2, 2014 at 7:53 AM - Reply

      I never look forward to the heat of summer, but we certainly deserve the end of winter!!!

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