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:
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.