This recipe is delicious and fresh new take on the usual basil-pesto. Use this in a salad, as a dip with some pita chips, toss with some pasta or grains, or even on a toasted crostini/crackers!
Yield: makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 bunch (~12-14 ounces) fresh asparagus, trimmed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Grana Padano cheese: a less-costly cheese that brings the same taste profile as Parmigiano)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine-nuts or pignolias, lightly toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring some water to a boil in a pot and add asparagus. Cook for 1-2 minutes (you want them crisp, not mushy!) and drain. Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
In the bowl of a food processor (or you can use a blender), process all the ingredients until a smooth puree. Taste test the pesto. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
Note: This pesto can be made-ahead and refrigerated safely in the refrigerator for 1 week in an airtight container with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface.