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Asparagus Pesto

Inspired by Mark Bittman’s article in The New York Times. Just like any pesto, this one is customizable to what you like. Less nuts, more cheese, no garlic, add some lemon. Taste it as you go so that you can make the pesto that you love best.


  • 1 lb asparagus woody stems removed and spears cut into 3 inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Fill a pot large enough to fit a steamer basket or colander inside (whatever pot you use for steaming vegetables) with about two inches of water and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Place the asparagus in a steamer or colander and put it over the boiling water so the water doesn’t touch the vegetables. Steam the asparagus for about 10 minutes or until it is dark green and tender. Covering it will speed up the steaming process.
  2. Once the asparagus is steamed add it to a food processor or blender with the oil, cheese, nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend or process it until smooth. You may need to work in batches if, like me, you only have a mini appliance. When the sauce is smooth enough for you, taste it and adjust any seasonings as needed. Then serve it immediately over pasta, toast, or grilled meat, or store it in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can eat it cold but I think the flavor is best warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

My original instructions for this say “Blend. Eat.” It’s not really much more complicated than that.