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Friday, June 11, 2010

Foody Friday: Asparagus Pesto and My New Favorite Condiment

I tried out a light and summery pesto this week and I love the change from heavily seasoned basil pestos. The original recipe was from the Times-Picayune but I heavily doctored it.
I got about a pint from this recipe, which is a lot of pesto for two people to eat, but it keeps well despite the asparagus ingredient (probably due to the acid content). Or you can always freeze some in tiny containers.
1 bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed
Garlic (I used two small cloves)
1/4 C macadamia or pine nuts. Macadamia are a good substitute if you can't easily find pine nuts.
1/2 - 3/4 C parmesan, grated
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Olive oil if you want it.
Boil the asparagus in salted water until just tender; drain (reserve some cooking liquid to add to pesto if it's too thick).
Blend ingredients in food processor until smooth. I added the juice of 1/2 a lemon, but for a little more kick I put some white balsamic vinegar in as well. Most pestos call for olive oil but I omitted it, adding some asparagus water instead. Leaving it out made the pesto more summery!

Is this all that's left?!
Here are some ways I've used the pesto:
- Tossed with toretellini and summer squash
- On grilled fish
- As a sandwich spread
- Spread on tomato halves and broiled
- Stirred into brown rice
- Added to spaghetti sauce for flavor
- On bruschetta

I mentioned the inclusion of white balsamic vinegar in my pesto. I'm having a love affair with white balsamic. It has totally replaced regular balsamic, which is very sweet and strong. I picked this up in the grocery store for basically nothin', maybe $1.75, and I've been using it to bring out the flavor in so many dishes! And of course, it's divine on salads.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delish. I have never tried making my own pesto. I like the idea of putting it on tomatoes and broiling them!

    And I have never tried white balsamic. I should try it as I do find regular balsamic to be a bit strong. Thanks for the suggestion.